- The internet is opening up science to public view.
- Publishing and critical review by other experts is the core of science. Nothing we do in the lab matters until it's publicly available for evaluation.
- Papers are published in journals, where they must first pass evaluation by peer reviewers.
- One function of journals has been to carry out peer review, and the other to physically publish and distribute the approved papers by mailing out issues of the journal.
- We don't need to change peer review, just the publication process.
- Open access has nothing to do with peer review.
- Access to these issues was by subscription, with research libraries paying very high rates (discount subscriptions, still very expensive, are available but typically only held by researchers working in that field).
- Before the internet, each additional reader added a direct cost, as papers had to be physically printed and distributed. With online-only publication, the costs are largely independent of readership.
- The taxpayer pays for most scientific research, and they should be able to see what we've done with their money.
- Journalists need open access to research papers.
- The subscription-based publication system scientists are used to is itself relatively new.
- Publishing research for profit probably won't go away completely, because both publishers and scientists have vested interests (profits and prestige respectively) that are independent of the intellectual purpose of scientific publication.
Examples of pay-per-view access:
- Science wants $15 for 24 hours of access to a 1992 article on the antibiotic resistance crisis.
- The Lancet wants $31.50 for 24 hours of access to a 2001 article on antibiotic resistance in biofilms.
- The journal of the American Medical Association wants $30
- J Bact (ASM) wants $20, but only for articles less than a year old.
- Journal of Clinical Oncology wants $22 for access to an article on chemotherapy resistance.
- Cancer Treatment Reviews (Elsevier) has no purchase option for single articles. Nor does Gastroenterology. Nor Diabetes Research. Nor Neurobiology of Aging.
- Insect Biochemistry and Molecular Biology $41.95
- Obesity $32
- Physics Letters A: $31.50
- Physics Review Letters: $25
- Wiley won't even tell you the price until you register with them.
- Journal of Electron Microscopy: (OUP) $42.48
- Journal of Nanoscience and Nanotechnology $113 (for 7 pages)
- Nature $18; Nature Physics: $32.
- http://content.karger.com/ProdukteCytogenetic and Genome Research (Karger) $38, or $26.50 with an 'Pay-per-View account (for a paper from 1992!).
Oops. UBC isn't very keen on having 'porn' in the title, so I'll change it to 'sports' and mention porn in the text.
Annual Reviews pay-per-view is inconsistent. Many articles appear to be freely available, but a 1997 one from Ann Rev Medicine costs $20 for 24-hr access, or 99¢ from a site I'd never heard of called 'DeepDyve. ARM says DeepDyve is "the largest online rental service for scientific, technical, medical, and scholarly research articles." I just checked it out; it deserves its own post.