31 August 2011

George and Derek Independently Muse

The iniquity of the closed source publishing model raises it head again; this time in Derek Lowe's blog under the title, "Why Isn't There an ArXiv For Chemistry?", and in the msm Monbiot has a an article in the Guardian's cif titled, "Academic publishers make Murdoch look like a socialist".

If you don't know the background to closed vs open source publishing, Monbiot's subheading will give a taste,
"Academic publishers charge vast fees to access research paid for by us. Down with the knowledge monopoly racketeers"
This issue has gone unresolved for years. Back in 2004 (and millions of pounds of wealth transfered since) the Select Committee on Science and Technology tenth report told us all about the unsatisfactory state of scientific publishing.
"This Report recommends that all UK higher education institutions establish institutional repositories on which their published output can be stored and from which it can be read, free of charge, online. It also recommends that Research Councils and other Government funders mandate their funded researchers to deposit a copy of all of their articles in this way."
So far, this has been ignored.

It is a massive and ongoing, shameful failure for all involved. This includes not only the governmental funders of research but also charities. As to when and how this will change ... I don't know. I can present reasonable and logical arguments until the cows come home (eg), as no doubt, could anyone working in science who hasn't got access to the privileges of a University library (obviously, those in a similar position but who do have access to the library couldn't give a stuff) but thus far, this continually falls on deaf ears.

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