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Mathematicians Aim To Take Publishers Out of Publishing

Soulskill posted about a year and a half ago | from the you've-been-subtracted dept.

Math 162

ananyo writes "Mathematicians plan to launch a series of free open-access journals that will host their peer-reviewed articles on the preprint server arXiv. The project was publicly revealed in a blog post by Tim Gowers, a Fields Medal winner and mathematician at the University of Cambridge, UK. The initiative, called the Episciences Project, hopes to show that researchers can organize the peer review and publication of their work at minimal cost, without involving commercial publishers. 'It’s a global vision of how the research community should work: we want to offer an alternative to traditional mathematics journals,' says Jean-Pierre Demailly, a mathematician at the University of Grenoble, France, who is a leader in the effort. Backed by funding from the French government, the initiative may launch as early as April, he says."

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Let's not celebrate on the graves of too many (0, Troll)

crazyjj (2598719) | about a year and a half ago | (#42624895)

I know it's verboten to point out any downside to this sort of thing, in this age of "Everything should be free and open!" But I just wanted to point out, before the flood of "This is great!" and "All academics should do this!" posts that are inevitably to follow, that those commercial publishers and traditional academic journals employ a lot of people who still need to feed their families. Converting to free and open source everything, whatever you opinion of it, does have casualties.

Re:Let's not celebrate on the graves of too many (5, Insightful)

durrr (1316311) | about a year and a half ago | (#42624939)

Converting to mechanized agriculture had its casualties too.
Converting to steam power had its casualties too.
Converting to digital IC computers had casualties too.
Invading Nazi germany had its casualties too.

I call Godwin (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42624995)

Seriously, did you really need that last night to prove your point?

Re:I call Godwin (4, Funny)

Pro-feet (2668975) | about a year and a half ago | (#42625109)

Well, that last night was quite a night. Steaming, and blurry. While not necessary to prove his point, it for sure provided him the stamina today to put it all out there in his insightful contribution to this Godwinly-diverted thread.

Re:I call Godwin (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42625343)

Presumably your mom told you this?

Re:I call Godwin (2)

mjwalshe (1680392) | about a year and a half ago | (#42625131)

no he didn't mention Gun control Bob Heinlein and that R.A.Y.N.D person

Re:I call Godwin (2)

Thud457 (234763) | about a year and a half ago | (#42625263)

Thud457's auto-Goodwin observation:

Someone's going to mention the NAZIs eventually, might as well get it over with right out of the gate.

Re:I call Godwin (0)

mjwalshe (1680392) | about a year and a half ago | (#42625555)

*snifs* Kids today have no respect for tradition nowadays "get of my lawn" :-)

Re:I call Godwin (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42625575)

Oh how clever you are. Someone is going to mention something eventually, so it should be you first. fuckwit.

Re:I call Godwin (4, Funny)

wonkey_monkey (2592601) | about a year and a half ago | (#42626333)

Oh how clever you are. Someone is going to mention something eventually, so it should be you first. fuckwit.

You're not supposed to sign your posts when you post as an AC.

Re:I call Godwin (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42626511)

what in the hell are you talking about?

Re:I call Godwin (1)

tepples (727027) | about a year and a half ago | (#42626571)

The post in question:

Someone is going to mention something eventually, so it should be you first. fuckwit.

If you end a post with name-calling, some people will comically miss the point and joke that you're signing the post with the insult as your name: "so it should be you first. Signed, fuckwit."

And I don't agree (3, Insightful)

Kupfernigk (1190345) | about a year and a half ago | (#42625321)

He was making a valid point, and not (as per Godwin's Law) comparing anything to the Nazis. WW2 rather changed my father's career plans and caused him considerable inconvenience. After the War, there was little promotion opportunity for Navy officers with combined ops experience, but he found another job. Changing the mould of European history resulted in a lot of casualties, but the usual Franco-Germanic war every 20-40 years is now long overdue and unlikely to recur.

Re:Let's not celebrate on the graves of too many (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42625027)

You Godwin'd this article in within 6 minutes.

Re:Let's not celebrate on the graves of too many (1)

Bill_the_Engineer (772575) | about a year and a half ago | (#42625183)

One of those line is not like the others. One of those line does not belong...

Re:Let's not celebrate on the graves of too many (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42624951)

You know, slave traders also had to feed their families. And they all got out of job when slavery got forbidden.
Also, you should welcome all spying on you, because it gives jobs for spies.

On the other hand, it is not a given that this will kill publishers. It might just force them to make a better offer. Note that there are already commercial Open Content journals. The only effect on those might be that they get a bit cheaper.

Re:Let's not celebrate on the graves of too many (5, Insightful)

JaredOfEuropa (526365) | about a year and a half ago | (#42624957)

I am sure the buggy whip manufacturers had families to feed to. Progress does come with casualties, but keeping a moribund institution alive does not come for free either, this choice has casualties too, even if they may be hard to spot.

Re:Let's not celebrate on the graves of too many (5, Insightful)

Morgaine (4316) | about a year and a half ago | (#42624973)

Converting to free and open source everything, whatever you opinion of it, does have casualties.

That's dangerously close to being a "Think of the publishers!" argument. It's not convincing.

If you want to keep people employed then give them something of positive value to do, not the negative value of restricting access to academic research.

Let's not throw the baby out w/ the bathwater (3, Informative)

WillAdams (45638) | about a year and a half ago | (#42625447)

Things which typical on-line systems don't do which publishers do:

  - quality selection / control on articles (some do better on this than others)
  - editors (for some reason, people take the content of text more seriously when it's to be printed)
  - graphic artists to re-draw illustrations, colour correct and fix graphics (sure, you can just slap a .png on-line, but it's wasteful if instead it could be a nice re-drawn or re-created graph or chart done as a vector graphic)
  - designers to create pleasing layouts for a publication so that not everything written has a boring sameness and so that the layout is adapted to make for more efficient reading of a text.

I look at raw author manuscripts pretty much all day, and believe me, the vast majority of them are _not_ something one would choose to read in their original, un-edited source form.

Typography is the craft (or art) of setting type so as to honour the content.

William

Re:Let's not throw the baby out w/ the bathwater (4, Informative)

rmstar (114746) | about a year and a half ago | (#42625607)

Things which typical on-line systems don't do which publishers do:

    - quality selection / control on articles (some do better on this than others)
    - editors (for some reason, people take the content of text more seriously when it's to be printed)
    - graphic artists to re-draw illustrations, colour correct and fix graphics (sure, you can just slap a .png on-line, but it's wasteful if instead it could be a nice re-drawn or re-created graph or chart done as a vector graphic)

Very little of this happens in maths journals, and when it happens, it is usually the editor that does it, and he does it for free. Or rather, payed by his employing institution, not by the publisher.

When the plots look ugly, it's usually the author who gets to fix them.

- designers to create pleasing layouts for a publication so that not everything written has a boring sameness and so that the layout is adapted to make for more efficient reading of a text.

I don't think any of that has happened in ages in maths. Perhaps the publishers pay for the cover illustrations, and a secreatary for handling correspondence, but everything else is done by people who are not paid by the publisher.

Re:Let's not throw the baby out w/ the bathwater (1)

fritsd (924429) | about a year and a half ago | (#42626029)

Well, maybe Benoît Mandelbrot [wikipedia.org] ..

Re:Let's not throw the baby out w/ the bathwater (4, Informative)

bzipitidoo (647217) | about a year and a half ago | (#42625905)

Perhaps you are talking about fiction and general publishing? Because in research publication, it's not the publishers who do all those things, it's the authors and fellow authors. And it's all gratis. Publishers really are not adding any value whatsoever.

- quality selection / control on articles (some do better on this than others)

Fellow experts in the field do this, because they're the only ones with the expertise to judge a submission, and spot mistakes. Even the editorial/management process of finding and choosing reviewers is done by fellow experts. This practice is so ingrained there's even a name for it: peer review.

editors

Authors are asked to do basic proofing themselves, so as not to waste peer reviewers' time on trivial errors such as typos.

graphic artists to re-draw illustrations

What illustrations? Perhaps biology uses illustrations, but an abstract science such as mathematics does not.

designers to create pleasing layouts

The typical journal spells out those details. They specify what font sizes authors must use, and often fonts as well. The onus is on the authors to follow the specifications to prepare camera ready documents. A typical research journal will have some variation between papers. Unless the journal has specified otherwise, most papers might be in a serif font, with a few in a sans serif font mixed in. There will be slight differences in the spacing of lines and other fine details. Not everyone uses LaTeX. Probably almost no one still uses a typewriter, but there is other software. Usually, there is no color. These are research papers, not glossy magazine articles. But with e-readers able to substitute on the fly whatever font at whatever size the user likes, these issues are quickly fading into irrelevance.

Re:Let's not throw the baby out w/ the bathwater (4, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42625991)

Actually, mathematics often does use illustrations - I'm in graph theory and my next paper is going to have quite a few. They're entirely supplied by the authors, though, and the publisher doesn't change them at all.

Re:Let's not throw the baby out w/ the bathwater (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42626803)

What illustrations? Perhaps biology uses illustrations, but an abstract science such as mathematics does not.

The well-written papers sometimes do have many illustrations. The illustrations are entirely done by the authors - if the journal cannot use the author-provided illustrations as-is the authors get to redo them in whatever way the journal requires.

Re:Let's not celebrate on the graves of too many (0, Redundant)

cant_get_a_good_nick (172131) | about a year and a half ago | (#42626119)

Yes, think of the publishers. Think of the people who work in publishing houses. Think of everybody. Why does "think of the consequences of your actions" necessarily have to be a bad thing? He didn't say "don't do this cause someone may make less of a bonus", he said "think of the consequences of having a large group of people who are trained for one type of work now out of that work".

But information wants to be FREE! Every book should be FREE! Well, that's great and all, but how do I (theoretical publisher me) then buy food? You may think that publisher me shouldn't get money for these books, but can you please convince my landlord to not need money for rent? I mean, I'm not owning this room, I'm just taking up space. And can you have Safeway give me free food? I mean, tomatoes get their energy from sunshine, it's not like the farmer can add more sun.... Its just a plant right?

The economy is a complex system with a purchase/wage cycle at its core. Wages are not just costs, siphoned away from the system like a leaky pipe. They're also inputs to the system. The dollar you pay the publisher has some money going to the secretary who then buys coffee from Starbucks, then the barrista buys a magazine... etc. You're saying to not only pull some money from entering this cycle, but that even thinking about the hit to the cycle is a bad thing.

If you want to keep people employed then give them something of positive value to do,

We're going through a sea-change in jobs. A lot of friction is going away. Jobs where people studied for years and added value for years are now disappearing very quickly. At first it was manufacturing, but people thought "oh that's low value, you don't add much" so we didn't care. Officework went next, people adding value by thinking and typing, that went away with tech. Ever hear of a secretarial pool? Probably not; jobs that added value at one time, replaced by tech. Think you're job is safe? Probably not.

What are the jobs that you think we should do? What are they jobs that are "relatively safe", meaning there are enough jobs out there where you can get one and at least make enough money to pay back your student loans for college and then make an economic profit out of your sacrifice for schooling? I'll remind you that school costs are going up, scholarships are going down, and current jobs are being lost. Oh, and you'll probably have to redo that cycle at some point, since whole industries are being downsized. Saved by Entrepreneurship? Probably not; new companies are "efficient" meaning making a lot of money, but creating few new positions. All the billions that Apple gets makes very few jobs in the US.

Hmm, manufacturing is out. Driving (taxi, trucks) soon will be (thanks Google et al). IBM's Watson beat Ken Jennings, who knows what low end mental work it can do. Lawyers are looking for work, even volunteer jobs at decent firms are at a premium. Being a doctor will be less lucrative. Where do you think these publishers should work now? Sure, take away their jobs, but at least think of the consequences?

Re:Let's not celebrate on the graves of too many (3, Funny)

hcs_$reboot (1536101) | about a year and a half ago | (#42624983)

Not funny, sorry. But having a very serious post flagged +5 Funny is one of the worst that can happen here :-)

Re:Let's not celebrate on the graves of too many (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42626515)

Not funny, sorry. But having a very serious post flagged +5 Funny is one of the worst that can happen here :-)

Hmm ... seeing your post at +5 Funny, I wonder whether it was meant seriously ...

Re:Let's not celebrate on the graves of too many (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42626595)

It may have been serious, but it didn't present any real arguments of why this is bad. IMO, modding an obviously flawed post "Funny" is a valid way of mocking it.

Re:Let's not celebrate on the graves of too many (1)

Biff98 (633281) | about a year and a half ago | (#42624999)

This is great! All academics should do this!

Re:Let's not celebrate on the graves of too many (3, Insightful)

Covalent (1001277) | about a year and a half ago | (#42625001)

Oh please...they can easily get new jobs making buggy whips...

Industries change, people find new careers. It's evolution, baby!

Re:Let's not celebrate on the graves of too many (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42625241)

Oh please...they can easily get new jobs making buggy whips...

Well, I am sure that if Microsoft turned to producing whips, they would be buggy. Precedent and all that.

Objoke: "First time I'll not have problems believing that an MS product does not suck is when they start producing vacuum cleaners."

Re:Let's not celebrate on the graves of too many (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42625011)

Let's keep people employed just for the sake of being employed, even if it their jobs are detrimental to society.

Re:Let's not celebrate on the graves of too many (2)

Wootery (1087023) | about a year and a half ago | (#42625019)

You're saying one should feel bad for putting a small privileged group out of their society-damaging jobs?

Not buying it, sorry.

Re:Let's not celebrate on the graves of too many (5, Insightful)

feedayeen (1322473) | about a year and a half ago | (#42625067)

The articles are written by scientists, generally using taxpayer money to do so.
The scientists pay the publisher to publish their work.
Other scientists, who are usually not paid, review the work before publication.
The publisher uploads the pdf to a website and then charges universities thousands of dollars to have unlimited access to their pdfs.

Re:Let's not celebrate on the graves of too many (4, Insightful)

ax_42 (470562) | about a year and a half ago | (#42625287)

You're missing some points -- adding them strengthens your argument though.

Other scientists, who are usually not paid, review the work before publication.

They are paid, usually by the taxpayer (as they tend to work at public institutions).

The publisher uploads the pdf to a website and then charges universities thousands of dollars to have unlimited access to their pdfs.

Universities are again funded (to a greater or lesser extent) by taxpayers, so the taxpayers pay again. The system continues to exist because the publishers own the "big name" journals like Nature, and because the insiders (e.g. established peer-reviewers) get fast-tracked when they want to publish in these journals. It's a racket which siphons huge wealth from the taxpayers to the publishers for little effort. May it end quickly.

Re:Let's not celebrate on the graves of too many (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42626671)

and because the insiders (e.g. established peer-reviewers) get fast-tracked

Nonsense.

Re:Let's not celebrate on the graves of too many (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42626819)

May it end quickly

Absolutely! If publishers had any brains, they'd be far more organized and targetting with the information they're delivering. Meaning, they need to move from being a sole purpose middle man, and go into the continued aggregation and meta-analysis business. We, and they specifically, have more research information in their hands than at any other point in history. Why are we, more importantly they, not doing more than what they are with it? There IS money to be made in that position. The fact that they aren't doing so is very telling as to how stagnant their position has become.

Re:Let's not celebrate on the graves of too many (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42625777)

I want to state at the outset that I'm a firm believer in open access publishing, and believe that academic writing should move more toward things like academic blogging. (I'm a tenured research professor, BTW).

However, I don't think the solution is quite as simple as everyone makes it out to be. For example, even with everyone posting papers on their own blog (which I see as the ideal), there's a certain amount of peer review that disappears. You can institute it in a journal, but then who pays for the costs of maintaining the journal?

Pay-to-publish, which is a common response to this problem, sets up an incentive scheme with an inherent conflict of interest. This is a fundamental ethical problem that people do not want to acknowledge. The journal has an incentive to bring in money to support its own existence (even non-profit journals are presumably interested in maintaining their own existence), which then creates an incentive to publish more papers regardless of quality. It also creates a bar to researchers to publish in a peer-reviewed journal--even with exceptions for hardship, there's still a bar.

Whether you want to admit it or not, the traditional publishing model follows solid economic principles: someone produces a product, and the quality of the product affords a price that can be charged for it. If papers aren't good, people should stop subscribing to the journal and not pay for it. We can argue about who produces the product, but ultimately under the traditional model, you are paying for the correct product--the published papers, not the privilege to publish.

Just to be clear--I submit, review, and edit papers to and for journals. However, there's lots of tasks that I do not do. I do not do administrative tasks, for example. I do not do copyediting (editing for style, spelling, etc.), or deal with all of the page design issues that produce a high-quality publication. These issues are important, and are not handled by any of my fellow scientists.

Open access is critical, but I think the problem now is not the basic economic model, it's the fact that there is a bubble, where journals are overvalued. There are lots of reasons for this, but one is that there's a bubble in terms of professional advancement in academics (e.g., to get tenure, get a pay raise, etc.). The right solution to the problem is to encourage researchers to start publishing on their own websites, and to encourage departments to not value frivolous peer-reviewed papers that could be posted as a blog post or directly on a researcher's website when they're evaluating professors and researchers for promotion and salary. When this happens, libraries will be able to say "sorry, we really don't need to subscribe to your journal," and will drop them. Maybe open-access will be seen as a feature that encourages libraries to subscribe to one journal versus another, when all other considerations are the same?

I'm all for multiple journal models, and wish there were more non-profit open-access journals maintained by professional membership dues. But those are increasing at unreasonable rates also. Maybe this is what the mathematicians have in mind--we'll see. I'm just troubled, as someone who sees open access as fundamentally important, to see so many people so blindly willing to dispense with basic economic and ethical principles in trying to achieve it universally. Pay-to-publish will make things worse, not better (articles under that model used to be required by law to be denoted as advertisements--maybe they still are?).

Re:Let's not celebrate on the graves of too many (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42626281)

Pay-to-publish, which is a common response to this problem, sets up an incentive scheme with an inherent conflict of interest. This is a fundamental ethical problem that people do not want to acknowledge. The journal has an incentive to bring in money to support its own existence (even non-profit journals are presumably interested in maintaining their own existence), which then creates an incentive to publish more papers regardless of quality. It also creates a bar to researchers to publish in a peer-reviewed journal--even with exceptions for hardship, there's still a bar.

While there's certainly a force to increase the number of publications, there's also a force to keep the quality high: You are only going to submit your paper to a journal if you get an advantage from doing so, and the higher the cost, the higher the advantage should be. The advantage is linked to the reputation the journal has, which in turn is linked to the quality standards the journal applies. So if a journal lowers the quality standards, in decreases the desire to publish in exactly that journal. Which in turn means it has to lower publication charges in order to compensate for the lost reputation.

Basically the asset of a journal is its reputation. A higher reputation means you'll attract more papers because publishing in a high-reputation journal increases the reputation of the authors. Indeed I'm not even convinced that a higher accept rate would also cause a higher published article count in the long run. A journal which loses reputation will attract less people because there are more other journals of equivalent reputation you can choose from. And with pay-to-publish, your publication rate will be constrained by your available money, so the supply of articles is not arbitrary large.

Re:Let's not celebrate on the graves of too many (0)

second_coming (2014346) | about a year and a half ago | (#42625087)

I'm sure the mathematicians will soon get tired of producing their own journals. It's the same as lot's of other things, sure you could do it yourself for less, but can you be arsed?

Re:Let's not celebrate on the graves of too many (1)

mjwalshe (1680392) | about a year and a half ago | (#42625143)

well Reed Elsiver is a Dutch/English company so the French don't give a fuck - if it was a french company that had REs position you can bet that they would be singing a different tune.

Re:Let's not celebrate on the graves of too many (4, Insightful)

TFAFalcon (1839122) | about a year and a half ago | (#42625159)

Well those people can now be employed by the universities that no longer have to pay the extortionate journal subscriptions, with the end result that more research can be done for the same amount of money.

Re:Let's not celebrate on the graves of too many (4, Informative)

TheMathemagician (2515102) | about a year and a half ago | (#42625337)

You're probably unaware that the backstory to this development is the academic boycott of publishers Elsevier over their price-gouging tactics. They're not casualties - they're legitimate targets.

Absolutely disagree (3, Insightful)

microbox (704317) | about a year and a half ago | (#42626149)

that those commercial publishers and traditional academic journals employ a lot of people who still need to feed their families. Converting to free and open source everything, whatever you opinion of it, does have casualties.

I am about as liberal as a person can be, from the point of view of someone who is educated in the best ideas of conservativism, and from that point of view, I gotta say that you have /specifically/ suggested what Hayek correctly articulated as "The Road to Serfdom" -- the thesis of his most famous book. If we are going to prevent economic disappointment, then the will end up in totalitarianism, and also reduced prosperity for everyone. Read the book for the arguments... they are compelling.

Free? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42624955)

But, but, how is the free market going to decide a winner if these professionals are free to publish their articles for free?

Re:Free? (2)

smitty_one_each (243267) | about a year and a half ago | (#42625051)

Think of it as http://bandcamp.com/ [bandcamp.com] , hold the band.

Disingenious (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42625007)

The commercial publishers add value by facilitating the review process by competent people. Unless they can replicate that "for free", this thing will fizzle out.

I do not think they have answered the question how reviewers will do their work and will be paid or otherwise motivated to do the reviewing.

Re:Disingenious (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42625069)

I've reviewed several articles and I've never been paid. Nor has anyone I know. Reviewers work for nothing, it's considered part of the "service" portion of your employment contract - so I guess one could say that they're being paid by their employers, not the journals.

Re:Disingenious (5, Informative)

magic maverick (2615475) | about a year and a half ago | (#42625127)

The same way as at present. Reviewers are not paid, they are basically volunteers.

The traditional model works like this:
1) a paper is written (no one gets paid)
2) it's sent to a journal, where the editor (paid) looks and decides whether or not to pass it on to reviewers (only the journal staff are paid)
3) the paper is sent to reviewers who make comments and suggest whether to publish or not (no one gets paid)
4) if the paper is not-worthy it's sent back to the author/s who decided to revise and resubmit or whatever (no one gets paid)
5) if the paper is accepted, the author has to sign over copyright (no one gets paid)
6) the paper is published, and if the author wants more than the "complementary" copies, has to pay. If anyone else wants to see the article, they have to pay. The journal makes loads of money for very little work.

Another model cuts out the last two steps, and the journal makes their money from ads, donations, grants or other sponsorship (e.g. from a university). Another model has volunteers all the way through. It's not difficult.

Re:Disingenious (1, Informative)

mrsquid0 (1335303) | about a year and a half ago | (#42625195)

Point (6) needs to be expanded to include the physical costs of printing and distributing the paper version of each issue. There are also costs associated with the servers needed to distribute the electronic version of the journal. These costs, particularly for the paper version, can be quite high. The high printing and distributing costs are a major reason why academia is (oh so slowly) moving towards publishing on-line instead of in traditional paper journals.

Re:Disingenious (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42625431)

I worked as a research assistant for several years and I have never seen a paper on physical paper. I could have (universities tend to stockpile them) but who wants to? 5% of papers are even interesting to read beyond the abstract. So I better print the 5% (if i am so inclined) and have all of it digitally. Get over it: Journals and other publications on paper are slow, expensive and practically dead. Oh and I stopped like 3 years ago.

Re:Disingenious (2)

mrsquid0 (1335303) | about a year and a half ago | (#42626583)

My experience has been that people under the age of about 45 tend to use arXiv and digital copies of research papers. People older than that tend to use paper copies. The standard deviation in this, however, is very large. I usually only print a paper if I want to quickly add some data to a figure, or do a chi-by-eye fit, or something similar. It is still easier to do this with a piece of paper than it is on a computer screen

cost of work (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42625483)

I agree with you that labor should be rewarded. However, so should the researchers reviewing the work. The could've better spent their time with their families, work, or regular chores. What about the cost of each researcher's education? Who pays for that? Education has its costs as well.

However, I understand the need to be impartial when reviewing work. But today's journals act more like NCAA's scheme of not paying its athletes for the sake of "fair play," "impartiality" or whatever moral crap they come up with.

Re:cost of work (1)

bitingduck (810730) | about a year and a half ago | (#42625939)

Peer review is part of the job of an academic- they're not paid by the journal to do it, but it's something you're expected to do as part of your job if you're an academic.

Re:Disingenious (1)

the gnat (153162) | about a year and a half ago | (#42626953)

The high printing and distributing costs are a major reason why academia is (oh so slowly) moving towards publishing on-line instead of in traditional paper journals.

Almost no individual scientists or laboratories in my field (biochemistry/molecular biology) actually gets the paper copies of any journal except for Science and Nature, unless it's specifically a journal they're an editor for. Everyone else either reads the papers online, or prints out a PDF (or reads them on their iPad or similar device - since I started doing this I haven't touched a paper copy). Institutional libraries still get paper copies, but I'm not sure how much use those actually get. If the printing costs really are a large part of the subscription fee, we're all getting screwed.

Re:Disingenious (1)

bitingduck (810730) | about a year and a half ago | (#42625853)

The same way as at present. Reviewers are not paid, they are basically volunteers.

The traditional model works like this:
1) a paper is written (no one gets paid)

A minor correction to this-- the authors are typically paid (often poorly, especially in the case of mathemeticians) by their institutions to do some combination of research and teaching, and writing papers falls under the research part of things. They don't get paid specifically to write any paper, but it's part of the general job.

Re:Disingenious (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42626009)

It's worth noting that at least in mathematics, the editors are generally paid only a nominal amount - maybe a few thousand pounds per year. The money really does all go to the publishers.

Re:Disingenious (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42625213)

Thanks for voting me to -1, as if my arguments were 100% troll. You are fucktards and you obviously cannot accept differing opinions.

Re:Disingenious (5, Funny)

SilentStaid (1474575) | about a year and a half ago | (#42625489)

Thanks for voting me to -1, as if my arguments were 100% troll. You are fucktards and you obviously cannot accept differing opinions.

You were peer-reviewed and we as a community decided not to publish you.

Re:Disingenious (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42625767)

Ironically you are wrong, and at the same time also just proved your whole point wrong. You see, he *is* published (I can read his comment). The reason is of course that there is no proper selection of peers, but rather some mob-moderation facilitated by some script. If you think that is the future of publishing than think again. I prefer my articles more carefully picked.

Re:Disingenious (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42626011)

most people won't see the original AC post or your response or this response. I believe the default on slashdot is not to show posts with 0 or negative score. I have to go through extra steps to see posts which have been downvoted, which is the equivalent of purposefully reading bad journal submissions.

A journal will have a "better" mod point system than slashdot. The easiest way is something along the lines of only giving users who are proven/qualified reviewers more mod points or make their mod points weighted more. There will also be more criteria for being able to mod posts in the first place apart from having a /. account.

Then you can even have your own personal "weight" for each reviewer that is active on a journal you frequent.
So there you go. proper selection of comments and it can develop into something better than print journals...yay progress!

Re:Disingenious (1)

amiga3D (567632) | about a year and a half ago | (#42625811)

Brilliant. I love it.

Re:Disingenious (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42625593)

Your argument was fundamentally flawed to the point that you must willingly ignore the facts or are used to being spoon fed. Either way, you sound like a shill or a troll.

Re:Disingenious (0)

drinkypoo (153816) | about a year and a half ago | (#42625621)

I like your subject. Disingenious is what your comment is.

Re:Disingenious (1)

Forty Two Tenfold (1134125) | about a year and a half ago | (#42625683)

The commercial publishers add price.

Re:Disingenious (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42626699)

The commercial publishers add value by facilitating the review process by competent people. Unless they can replicate that "for free", this thing will fizzle out.

I do not think they have answered the question how reviewers will do their work and will be paid or otherwise motivated to do the reviewing.

You have absolutely no clue how the peer review process works. You would do well to discover how it functions before making laughably misinformed statements.

Great idea but... (4, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42625037)

you have to convince 1)young scientists they can still get employed and grants publishing there and 2)old faculty who do the highering and grant reviews that these are just as good as normal journals. As an academic myself, I'd prefer to publish in open source journals but the powers that be want high profile journals like science, nature, PNAS, etc. You can't even get an interview unless you have papers in a high profile journal anymore. Until this mindset changes, these 'publishing free' journals are dead in the water.

Re:Great idea but... (4, Insightful)

AlecC (512609) | about a year and a half ago | (#42625123)

Having a Fields Medal winner leading the charge helps. If you can point out that this is where the greatest in the field are publishing, old faculty will have difficulty in denying their relevance. Those who are "names" in their respective subjects can make this happen.

Re:Great idea but... (3, Interesting)

Slippery_Hank (2035136) | about a year and a half ago | (#42625679)

I agree completely, but I think that 1) follows directly from 2). I am an early career researcher, and I want to be publishing open source. The reason I do not, is because I need to be sure that I can get research grants and tenure positions later in life. I would like to see a high profile institution start a policy that they only hire candidates with at least one open source publication, that could really get the ball rolling.

Huh? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42625045)

Donald Knuth gave TeX to the world so we don't need publishers. Just like how Jesus died for our sins!

Re:Huh? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42625247)

Well, the difficult part certainly is not the technology details of typesetting, but to assess the content of a paper. That must be replicated by a "free" process.

Let's see if they can do this, similarly to the Linux kernel. The Publishers will of course point out that the value of their publications lie in the skilled selection of "interesting" and "good" papers from the deluge of all papers.

Re:Huh? (1)

Slippery_Hank (2035136) | about a year and a half ago | (#42625697)

The publishers don't actually do that. They outsource the selection of 'good' papers to unpaid volunteers.

Re:Huh? (1)

retchdog (1319261) | about a year and a half ago | (#42626121)

and when he did, the author of the then-state-of-the-art proprietary typesetting system launched bitter polemics against TeX to anyone who would listen. his main point was that it wasn't fair that TeX was 1) orders of magnitude better than his software and 2) free, so that he would now lose all of his support contracts. sounds familiar.

the letter was published in the bulletin of the ams (i think), with a rebuttal from Knuth telling him, politely, to go fuck himself.

Make them useless (1)

redog (574983) | about a year and a half ago | (#42625103)

What they need to do is add deniability to the free ones and sell access to the official ones. [This document contains one factual error]
Call it anti-sarcasm for me.

Use law reviews as a model (2)

glrotate (300695) | about a year and a half ago | (#42625107)

Academic legal journals are published by the students. The students select articles, work with authors, edit, proof, contract printers and manage subscriptions.

Each school is different, but most have a writing competition each year and students are selected based upon a combination of their score in the competition and grades.

Why wouldn't this work for the Journal of Even Numbers?

Math nerds should just beg Apple for help (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42625141)

No other organization has the brains (sorry math nerds, but being able to do algebra doesn't count) and the brawn to put an entire industry out of business. If these math nerds were actually as smart as their entirely academic credentials make it seem they would be BEGGING Apple for help. Obviously they are going in an typical "open sores" direction and the effort will naturally thus fail, so they aren't as smart as they claim.

Re:Math nerds should just beg Apple for help (1)

Rockoon (1252108) | about a year and a half ago | (#42625481)

In my experience, people that are good at math don't often buy Apple products.

Re:Math nerds should just beg Apple for help (1)

retchdog (1319261) | about a year and a half ago | (#42626175)

really? apple is almost standard in many applied math departments; i think that counts as "good at math" by slashdot standards. pure math maybe not quite as much, but definitely not rare.

people who are good at math often want a unix, but they don't want to waste work time wrestling with their os, leaving apple as (unfortunately) the only option. those who are doing serious compute projects might have a linux box for heavy or GPU-based number crunching, but that's about it.

Editorial work? (3, Insightful)

Lawrence_Bird (67278) | about a year and a half ago | (#42625455)

Unfortunately the vast majority of posters have never had any work published and make the false assumption that its all gravy for the publishers. Editing anything - scientific papers, manuscripts, text books is a considerable effort, far more than spell check in word. Layout is also important to make best use of space and present the work clearly to the reader. So the text (including tables and figures) that the author sends to the publisher do not equate to editiorial review or layout work. All costs must also be spread over the expected readership of the journal, which in the case of most scientific journals is not a very large audience.

Demailly statement about authors doing all the typing already - did he really think publishers sent stenographers to take dictation? Hand written submissions? Sure, maybe in the 1920s.

In the case proposed here, there is also the added need for peer review with checks and balances, not just peer review by the guy who has plenty of free time because he has nothing else going on. Who is going to run this process? Who is going to prod slow reviewers? What about the final decisions to accept or reject? The opporunity for bias in decision making is going to be far higher. While academics are involved in the process now, the publisher (in theory) acts as last guarantor of good behavior.

Re:Editorial work? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42625493)

All well and good, except for the times it's clear that the publishing house never even bothered to _run_ spell-check on the manuscript.

Re:Editorial work? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42625557)

"Editing anything - scientific papers, manuscripts, text books is a considerable effort, far more than spell check in word. Layout is also important to make best use of space and present the work clearly to the reader."

Yes it is true. Unfortunately, that work is done by scientists themselves for free.

"So the text (including tables and figures) that the author sends to the publisher do not equate to editiorial review or layout work."

Published layout equates send layout in several fields, for example in math.

"In the case proposed here, there is also the added need for peer review with checks and balances, not just peer review by the guy who has plenty of free time because he has nothing else going on."

Peer reviewing is done for free by researchers themselves. It is assumed to be "a honor".

"Who is going to run this process? Who is going to prod slow reviewers? What about the final decisions to accept or reject?"

Prodding can be done automatically. The rest will run as before, except that the decision would be done by project organizers instead of publishers. If you would read the article, they you would find that they have funding for the project.

"The opporunity for bias in decision making is going to be far higher. While academics are involved in the process now, the publisher (in theory) acts as last guarantor of good behavior."

I do not see that bias as higher. Publisher who is not an expert in the area has no way to eliminate any bias. From what I know his "guarantor of good behavior" is currently theory only.

Re:Editorial work? (4, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42626023)

I have had many articles published in several journals, including the maligned Elsevier. If publishers add any value they have not educating me on what it is. I write the paper. I typeset it (in LaTeX); text, figures, and all. They require me to sign away the copyright. They put it on a web server. They charge me (and University libraries) to gain access to my own work. And the kicker is THAT THEY DON'T EVEN EDIT ANYMORE. I haven't submitted revisions or check galley proofs since the late 1990s. In other words, the only thing that I can see that they do is host a web site (that incidentally is more complicated than it needs to be because of the pay wall). Bah, good riddance I say! And three cheers for the mathematicians.

Re:Editorial work? (2)

slimak (593319) | about a year and a half ago | (#42626239)

Where do you publish that you do not check galley proofs? I too have had a few articles published and am always forced to approve the galley proofs before they document goes to press. Maybe there are journals that don't require this, but I know many have it mandatory step. If you choose to blindly accept the proof without changes that reflects more on you than the publisher. Not submitting revisions either means you write perfect and no reviewer/editor has any questions/comments (congratulations if this is the case) or that you are able somehow avoid the revisions.

I do agree with you that its tough to see the value added by journals from the journals other than the perceived clout they carry. From a CV standpoint, its "better" to publish in IEEE TMI than slimak's wonderful world of science. But, that is only because of the weight our peers assign the journals and really not a real value (to me).

Re:Editorial work? (4, Informative)

LourensV (856614) | about a year and a half ago | (#42626063)

Unfortunately the vast majority of posters have never had any work published and make the false assumption that its all gravy for the publishers. Editing anything - scientific papers, manuscripts, text books is a considerable effort, far more than spell check in word. Layout is also important to make best use of space and present the work clearly to the reader. So the text (including tables and figures) that the author sends to the publisher do not equate to editiorial review or layout work. All costs must also be spread over the expected readership of the journal, which in the case of most scientific journals is not a very large audience.

Last time I had something published in a peer-reviewed (Elsevier) journal, I sent them a LaTeX file using their stylesheets, all formatted and ready to go (and boy are tables a b*tch in LaTeX!). They don't give you the actual styles they use to format papers, but presumably the ones they do make available are compatible, so there was very little work on their end. Then, I went and did it all a second time myself (the published styles are not very readable, and I wasn't sure about copyright issues), so that I could publish a readable version as a preprint for free access through my institution's repository (which is allowed). Granted, most people in my field will just send in Word files and some images, and someone has to arrange them neatly. That's not that big a job though, and they're certainly not going to make your pictures prettier (unless you pay them a hefty fee for that service) or do much more than running a spelling checker. If it's badly written, the peer reviewers will politely suggest you (note: not the publisher) get a native speaker to fix it up for you. I know several colleagues (none are native speakers) who have some or all of their papers checked for proper English by professional editors before submitting them, at their own expense.

In the case proposed here, there is also the added need for peer review with checks and balances, not just peer review by the guy who has plenty of free time because he has nothing else going on. Who is going to run this process? Who is going to prod slow reviewers? What about the final decisions to accept or reject? The opporunity for bias in decision making is going to be far higher. While academics are involved in the process now, the publisher (in theory) acts as last guarantor of good behavior.

The editor, like they do now? As far as I know, editors at least in the West generally do the job for the reputation capital and as a kind of community service, not for the money. I could see people volunteer some of their time as a (co-)editor just for the credits. Anyway, even an open access journal could charge a small submission fee to cover this, or it could be subsidised by bodies like the NSF.

Re:Editorial work? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42626151)

I have had a mathematical paper accepted for publication. I very much doubt that you have, or you would know that the process is nothing like getting a textbook published.

To answer your points individually: editorial review and proof-reading is done by referees, not the publisher. A given layout is mandated by the journal, and putting the paper into that layout is done by the authors, not the publisher. Selection of referees, prodding slow reviewers, and making the final accept/reject decisions is handled by the editor(s) of the journal, not the publisher.

Currently neither the referees nor the authors are paid at all, and journal editors are working mathematicians paid only a nominal amount - generally no more than £3-4k per year - for a huge amount of extra work. Meanwhile, people high up in the publishing companies are earning six or seven figure salaries while charging our universities hundreds of thousands of pounds for access to our own work.

Do you see why we hate the publishers now?

Re:Editorial work? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42626165)

While academics are involved in the process now, the publisher (in theory) acts as last guarantor of good behavior.

There's no point in having a body which in theory prevents bias when they can actually be a large part of the problem [the-scientist.com] themselves.

Your arguments for the effort publishers go through are also very variable depending on who the publisher is. I'm quite "early career", so I've one paper published and one going through review at the moment. For the first paper, pretty much everything was done ourselves. The journal pointed out that it had procedures and protocols for format and specific grammar, but it was clear that it was entirely down to us to make sure we complied with that. The fine print warned that if we didn't then they wouldn't bother to fix it and they'd just reject it. In that situation the publishing fees really seemed unjustifiable: of course it costs them to do this and that but bearing in mind we were handing them several years worth of work and that the onus was on us for all formatting, layout, figures pretty much to the point where they just copied and pasted it into a two-column format before publishing it, the thousands of pounds that it cost us really seemed excessive.

On the other hand, the paper we've got going through review at the moment has had much more input from the publisher. They've passed our figures down to an art department who are doing a better job than we could of making them look great, they've been much more involved in the layout and editing, and so on. This time, I can understand where the money is going.

So yeah, some publishers do provide input and help, and seem to have a decent reputation for avoiding bias. Others really don't. I'm guessing that's why Gowers described this as an alternative system rather than a replacement.

Re:Editorial work? (2)

retchdog (1319261) | about a year and a half ago | (#42626309)

i've published. what happens is, my article proofs get sent to generally unpaid reviewers; i edit; i resubmit; and it gets published completely unchanged. the only work done is adding a table of contents and managing page flow. the former is trivial, and the latter is basically obsolete with electronic journals. even spell-checking would be an overestimate of the work involved. the publishers are pure brokers, plain and simple. the idea that they would even know what "good behavior" is, without their unpaid peer reviewers, is utterly laughable.

unfortunately, your latter criticisms might hold. mathematicians are arrogant sods, and yes, there would probably be need for at least minimal peer review for non-math aspects, such as aesthetic standards. since they don't pay for their journals, i can imagine that they would rather (indirectly) waste a few tens of thousands of dollars than spend two hours a month doing janitorial work. then again, mathematicians have a fanatical streak which can be easily exploited.

anyway, even if this doesn't work, something like it eventually will. the inefficiencies of the current system are just outrageous.

Re:Editorial work? (1)

Bengie (1121981) | about a year and a half ago | (#42626423)

In the case proposed here, there is also the added need for peer review with checks and balances, not just peer review by the guy who has plenty of free time because he has nothing else going on.

That could be handled by a system similar to the Web of Trust http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Web_of_trust [wikipedia.org]

Yes, we should not forget this! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42626627)

The point is important, the editor and journal staff can significantly improve the scientific process by suggesting certain changes, even rejecting a paper can make it better. The communication between the author(s), reviewers, the layout and actual publishing on a website or in paper form all take time and money.

Unfortunately the actual helpful editing by the journal seems to be missing completely for a lot of non-high impact publications. Science, Nature, Physical Review Letters, and other still edit the manuscript. The price universities and individual researchers pay for articles or whole journals is still way too high for the given benefit. Most pre-prints on arxiv.org are already in a pretty good form, the peer-review process is improving the articles, the additional editing is in most cases more icing on the cake than absolutely necessary.

The general direction for open-access journals might change things quite a bit. For a reasonable amount $500-$1000 as a one time payment you can publish and everybody can access the research for free.

Re:Editorial work? (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42626913)

I've published several papers in scientific journals. I write the paper in LaTeX using a document class that the journal provides. I sent it to an unpaid editor-in-chief who just sends it on to an unpaid coordinator. The coordinator chooses unpaid reviewers who send back a report. I make changes to the document based on the report. I hand over the copyright to the paper to the publisher. The paper is now published without any changes. I don't believe I've ever interacted with or observed the work of a paid person while publishing my papers. Either your community is entirely different from mine or you just don't have any idea what you are talking about.

One thing publishers/paper journals offer (1)

MrBippers (1091791) | about a year and a half ago | (#42625577)

Is legacy access. When a given journal shuts down, the articles they did publish are still available from the publisher for perpetuity digitally or physical copies archived in the library. Free open journals are great, but we need a way to ensure anything published will be accessible even if their servers went down. My University cancelled their subscription to one journal I frequently read articles from, but I can still get PDFs of the physical copies that came with that subscription from the library archives. A huge part of science is being able to refer back to what has already been done.

Re:One thing publishers/paper journals offer (0)

drinkypoo (153816) | about a year and a half ago | (#42625609)

Free open journals are great, but we need a way to ensure anything published will be accessible even if their servers went down

It's called the internet archive, and not making a robots.txt file that denies it access.

Re:One thing publishers/paper journals offer (1)

dkf (304284) | about a year and a half ago | (#42625953)

It's called the internet archive, and not making a robots.txt file that denies it access.

They guarantee to index all other content? Every last little boring bit? And they guarantee to have the data continue to be available in 30 years? Really?

Re:One thing publishers/paper journals offer (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42626599)

In this particular proposal the papers themselves are to be stored in arXiv, which your are probably familiar with. But for the benefit of other readers, arXiv is more or less the standard repository for pre-prints in physics and math, and they have a long track record (20 years or so) on keeping old papers readily available. It is mirrored throughout the whole world, by many universities. To make the arXiv shut down it would take something close to the end of the world.

Re:One thing publishers/paper journals offer (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42626947)

You've got it backwards. Paid journals do not offer dependable-in-perpetuity legacy access - if they go bankrupt you are SOL. Open content, however, can be backed up and offered by anyone - THAT is how you get dependable-in-perpetuity backup of important digital content. You've got it backwards!

Turnabout is fair play (1)

Shoten (260439) | about a year and a half ago | (#42625733)

Hey, if you've been watching the publishing industry lately, it looks like the publishers have been trying to remove simple math from their own industry!

Ebooks where the majority of publishing-related costs disappear, but where the publishers keep a larger percentage of the revenue from sales and pay authors a smaller percentage...

Trying to make it so that textbooks are no longer reusable, while attacking the used-book submarket...

Oh, and this gem...prosecuting someone for reselling the exact same book that was published for sale in another country. [huffingtonpost.com]

Occasions of pride not so often for French people (1)

Herve5 (879674) | about a year and a half ago | (#42626041)

All is in the title -at least we may start forgeting Claude Allègre and homeopathics...

Indeed -real pride there, an unusual feeling.

Is just the beginning (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42626173)

With tools that make it easy to publish ebooks like the iBooks tools from Apple, universities all over the US are working on publishing by themselves cutting the publishing companies.

Human knowledge must be liberated from paywalls! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42626367)

Human knowledge must be liberated from paywalls! Too much knowledge is behind paywalls. All we know about it is what pop-science journalists think it says from reading an abstract. We must bring knowledge out from behind paywalls, and leave the paywalls guarding an empty warehouse. Time for an end run.

Publishers are parasites with political clout (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42626751)

The greatest asset Humanity has is its collection of individual intelligences. We have no idea which individual intelligences have the potential to change the world. All we can do is ensure everyone who desires it has access to the sum total of prior Human knowledge.

Paywalls and publishers see their purpose as the diametric opposite to this principle. Their thinking is simply 'knowledge is power', and 'power belongs to the elites'. A hour's research into Human history will show the price paid by previous civilisations that allowed such thinking to rule.

But publishers are like lobbyists. The have direct access to the ears (and pockets) of the politicians and academic administrators that matter. Where useful, they run the 'non-profit' con, which means the most massive salaries and 'expenses' going into the personal bank accounts of those that oversee the 'non-profits'. JSTOR, for instance, enriches those involved with it beyond the dreams of Solomon. You see the same thing with the 'non-profit' music royalty organisations in Canada and Europe, whose managers are paid individual salaries of high six-figures or greater, while most artists are lucky to see pennies.

Obviously the publishers of scientific papers, making hundreds of millions every year from tame markets, are going to use every power they have to prevent scientific papers going 'free'. They will shill sites like Slashdot, for instance, with garbage about 'peer review'. This is the worst excuse in the world. Cheating in 'peer reviewed' publishing is incredibly high, but worse, the pretence of 'quality' means people forget to be sceptical of articles in such publications, encouraging the cheating.

Maths is going to the 'free' model first, because 'peer review' in maths is a joke. Your maths is either right or it is wrong. The more people that read your maths paper, the greater the likelihood that someone will spot a flaw in the logic, if such a flaw exists. Mathematicians crave this. Scientists working on some big fat government grant are more than happy to have no-one notice how flawed and useless their 'research' is in reality. 'Big fat government grant' people want THEIR papers to be given the OK by people in the same financial position- you rub my back, and I'll rub yours.

The American Constitution doesn't get amended very often. Here is a golden opportunity. Scientific/maths papers by authors who want others to have free access to their work should be constitutionally forbidden from exclusively existing behind a paywall. At the same time, Copyright periods should be adjusted so that material is entering the public domain after a reasonable amount of time has passed for a commercial squeeze of such material. 50 years from date of publishing would seem a reasonable maximum.

Sadly, Western society is heading in the opposite direction. The masses must be conditioned and controlled. Free access to knowledge is as 'dangerous' as it was in those prior elite-run civilisations. It doesn't matter how wrong an idea is, so long as the consequences of the masses believing in it is useful to their masters.

Oh, and the nastiest way in which the parasite publishers can strike back is in finally offering to pay money to the authors of the papers. Prior experience proves that even if they offered the authors a pittance, most would accept the pittance over allowing free access to their papers.

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