[Coral-List] More on open access

Szmant, Alina szmanta at uncw.edu
Wed Apr 16 22:34:50 EDT 2008

Peer-review, and the need to discriminate well done studies from shoddy
work is the reason journals are needed.  There are a number of great
society journals that do not charge an arm and a leg to publish one's
article (e.g. ISRS and Coral Reefs).  They do charge members for the
journals and a higher but usually affordable price to libraries.  The
issue is that these society journals can't absorb all of the worthy
articles submitted by our ever increasing scientific community, and thus
researchers resort to for-profit journals with higher publication
capacity and faster publication rates (which cost big money to produce).

The bigger issue I think is that people now want the convenience of
sitting in their family room down-loading articles at will without any
cost. I can do that to a large extent through my university's library
subscriptions, but many folks don't have that luxury.  Those people will
need to go to a local university library and make copies of the articles
out of the hard-copies of the journal, buy the articles from on-line
sources, or get someone who has access to the pdfs to email the article
to them.  

Publishing has always been a money-making business, since the middle
ages when these trades came about.  I don't see that changing now.   In
North Carolina and elsewhere, universities band together to share the
cost of electronic journals.  I suggest this strategy could be used to
provide wider access to electronic journal resources to different user
groups around the world. 

Dr. Alina M. Szmant
Coral Reef Research Group
UNCW-Center for Marine Science 
5600 Marvin K. Moss Ln
Wilmington NC 28409
Tel: (910)962-2362 & Fax:  (910)962-2410
Cell:  (910)200-3913
email:  szmanta at uncw.edu
Web Page:  http://people.uncw.edu/szmanta

-----Original Message-----
From: coral-list-bounces at coral.aoml.noaa.gov
[mailto:coral-list-bounces at coral.aoml.noaa.gov] On Behalf Of Paul Muir
Sent: Monday, April 14, 2008 8:00 PM
To: coral-list at coral.aoml.noaa.gov
Subject: Re: [Coral-List] More on open access

It's always been one of the great mysteries to me -  researchers spend
their lives and often a small fortune to produce articles which they
then give to commercial operators (ie journals) for free. The journals
then get these articles reviewed and edited by other researchers for
free, add some advertising and print the stuff, charging other
researchers the earth to read it!  
I guess it costs to print and distribute hard copy journals but when you
see the prices journals charge for subscriptions, even e-subscriptions,
it seems that publishing must be a great business?!  You do wonder why
researchers don't cut the commercial operators out of the loop,
particularly when the web is such a great way of reaching a huge
audience for free without the limitations of a printed page. 
Dr. Paul Muir
Museum of Tropical Queensland,
78-104 Flinders St,
Townsville QLD 4810 Australia.
ph 07 47 260 642 fax 07 47 212 093 
* if no reply or problems sending try paularwen at gmail.com 
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