Friday, 3 February 2012

Are we slaves to the scientific publishing industry?

Found this fascinating analogy in the post

...our slavery to the scientific publishing industry.
And 'slavery' is definitely the most appropriate term here, for how else would you describe a business where the product is produced by others for free1 (scientific results), is assessed for quality by others for free (reviewing), is commissioned, overviewed and selected by yet others for free (editing), and then sold back to the very same scientists and the rest of the world's consumers at exorbitant prices.
This isn't just a whinge about a specialised and economically irrelevant sector of the economy, we're talking about an industry worth hundreds of billions of dollars annually. In fact, Elsevier (agreed by many to be the leader in the greed-pack – see how some scientists are staging their protest; also here) made US$1.1 billion in 2010!

what are your thoughts? I don't think that making money is necessarily bad, but apparently rich is even a derogatory term now, with rich ppl (oops) preferring to be called high net worth individuals. But when it's larger entities, corporations, it might be easy to mud sling them.
However, I think the author has a point when making the analogy, my 1st shock was discovering that I have to read lengthy copyright info on what I can or cannot do with something that I researched / wrote  (see )

It's so much easier to understand from a photographer's point of view

"Copyright" is "the right to copy." This right is a legal construct, designed for you — the artist — to support your artistic endeavors. Without copyright, people would be free to use your artistic work
You can negotiate a "license" to copy, and perhaps even get paid in real money. Hopefully this will give you more incentive to create art, and the world will be a better place.

Will People Steal My Work?

Generally no, as publishers live by copyright law and usually have established rates which they gladly pay. A more likely problem is that publishers may not know that you are the copyright owner, which goes back to that "©" symbol and digital watermark.

Hey wait a minute .. "the world will be a better place "  hmmm I thought scientists are the ones trying to help the world with advancing human knowledge where our incentive to churn out more scientific results?

hmmm food for thought ..
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