Is there a power shift taking place on how research is being published? For many years peer-reviewed journal papers were under the guidance of editors who decided which articles would be published and which papers would not be published. It has maintained restrict access to the public where you had to pay a pretty hefty subscription fee in order to read it. Even when the internet became popular, traditional publishing charged a subscription, but this may change.
“Open access” is becoming a trend in mainstream publications, it allows the public to read the science papers for free while charging the author! These open access sites are putting the pressure on paid sites and traditional papers to change their format.
What should taxpayers pay for government funded research anyway? Most of the research published comes from taxpayers money. By having the author pay a fee or a sponsor pay a fee for the privilege of publication, allows everyone to read the publications! Which is way more educational doing this way!
While a leading publication called, nature is flawed on how things work in the universe, they do make sense with their support for “open access.”
“Publishers in such an environment will need all the more to demonstrate that they add value to the research process. This sits alongside their need to deliver a reasonable profit — whether to fund learned-society activities or to reduce their publishing charges (the aim of the Public Library of Science) or, like many suppliers of services and equipment to researchers, to deliver a return to their investors.”
“The perception of publishers as profiteers is strong, and understanding of the value they add is weak. Not noted for their transparency, publishers will have to work hard to develop trust amid a fundamental shift in their customer base.”
Geoffrey Boulton another author for nature wrote this back in January 2012 in Nature News…
“We also need to be open towards fellow citizens. The massive impact of science on our collective and individual lives has decreased the willingness of many to accept the pronouncements of scientists unless they can verify the strength of the underlying evidence for themselves.”
“The furore surrounding ‘Climategate’ — rooted in the resistance of climate scientists to accede to requests from members of the public for data underlying some of the claims of climate science — was in part a motivation for the Royal Society’s current report. It is vital that science is not seen to hide behind closed laboratory doors, but engages seriously with the public.”
The challenge that lies ahead for “open access” is making it less abstruse thus, making it more readable for the public! Other responses about “open access” among researchers is quite favorable. Are you in favor of “open access” or not?
Lack of transparency along with the status-quo science has long been the complaint of many “maverick” scientists who felt that consensus was limiting innovation in research. Open access may open the door for change with that dramatically which may help cause major discoveries in science! Instead of just peer-review now you the public at large being also the reviewers.
Does this mean it will open the door for crazy theories to be published? This happens already with traditional publications as they published many wild and crazy theories and some of these types of theories actually go mainstream like fractal geometry, and plate tectonics.
But new solutions also breed new problems, for example, Wikipedia where one can just type in a word and then almost instantly have the information available to him or her. Much like traditional peer-review, the society within Wikipedia have censored and then structured the information to their opinions, thus errors remain in the information. “Open access” may encounter these same problems but it’s well worth a try as change can’t be any worse than traditional peer-review publications at a subscription level!