Why people don't believe

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rstevenson
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Why people don't believe

Post by rstevenson » Tue Mar 09, 2010 12:41 pm

From one of my favourite rabble-rousers ...

The Unpersuadables

Rob

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geckzilla
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Re: Why people don't believe

Post by geckzilla » Wed Mar 10, 2010 6:25 pm

Distrust has been multiplied by the publishers of scientific journals, whose monopolistic practices make the supermarkets look like angels, and which are long overdue for a referral to the Competition Commission. They pay nothing for most of the material they publish, yet, unless you are attached to an academic institute, they’ll charge you £20 or more for access to a single article. In some cases they charge libraries tens of thousands for an annual subscription. If scientists want people at least to try to understand their work, they should raise a full-scale revolt against the journals which publish them. It is no longer acceptable for the guardians of knowledge to behave like 19th-Century gamekeepers, chasing the proles out of the grand estates.
This. The money factor has been a roadblock keeping me from reading articles for a long time, now. It doesn't make much sense to me at all.
Just call me "geck" because "zilla" is like a last name.

JLewis98856
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Re: Why people don't believe

Post by JLewis98856 » Wed Mar 10, 2010 9:50 pm

Yes! What's with NATURE and SCIENCE? The cost is obscene.

makc
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Re: Why people don't believe

Post by makc » Thu Mar 11, 2010 6:43 am

geckzilla wrote:
If scientists want people at least to try to understand their work...
somehow I think scientists are regular people who want to get paid for their work.

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geckzilla
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Re: Why people don't believe

Post by geckzilla » Thu Mar 11, 2010 12:24 pm

Yes, mak, everyone needs to make money. But what's up with this? Is this true? Where does the money go?
They pay nothing for most of the material they publish, yet, unless you are attached to an academic institute, they’ll charge you £20 or more for access to a single article.
Just call me "geck" because "zilla" is like a last name.

makc
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Re: Why people don't believe

Post by makc » Thu Mar 11, 2010 1:14 pm

geckzilla wrote:They pay nothing for most of the material they publish, yet, unless you are attached to an academic institute, they’ll charge you £20 or more for access to a single article.
sounds like a good deal to me, I (as sure as everyone else here) would be happy to be able to sell something I do not pay for :D all heil the Capitalism! I still think they pay authors, though. as for
geckzilla wrote:Where does the money go?
Do you mean how stakeholders spend their profits? I really don't know, but I doubt they do it very differently from everyone else.

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Chris Peterson
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Re: Why people don't believe

Post by Chris Peterson » Thu Mar 11, 2010 3:10 pm

JLewis98856 wrote:Yes! What's with NATURE and SCIENCE? The cost is obscene.
Actually, these journals are reasonably priced (for individuals). They are high quality, printed weekly products- expensive to produce.

The thing is, printed journals (like most printed media) are rapidly becoming obsolete. Although I get Science through the mail, much of what I read I get from their online version. I really don't need the printed version at all. But for online access, I should expect to pay much less. Most of the costs associated with these journals is associated with printing and distribution of the physical copies.

Another problem has to do with the funding of the research. Most important work receives substantial funding from public grants (that is, it's supported by tax money). In the U.S. (but not all countries) such work is usually assumed to produce output freely accessibly to everybody. Papers in journals that aren't free-access subvert this.

I don't know what the solution is. Journals (either printed or online) are essential to science. Self-publishing doesn't work, and sites like Arxiv don't work, because trust in papers depends on well managed peer review systems. But something does need to change to open up free or cheap access to more work- and I'm pretty sure that we'll see such change over the next decade.
Chris

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BMAONE23
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Re: Why people don't believe

Post by BMAONE23 » Thu Mar 11, 2010 5:53 pm

$20 for a single article or paper is steep for many people. If the price were dropped to $1.00 they would, in all likelyhood, sell more than 20 times the ammount of copies and net more.