Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Long live free information flow!

I am writing this post in support of PloS, the Public Library of Science. It publishes online journals with the aim to propagate free flow of information! If you are a researcher, consider publishing there whenever possible.

I am sick with the current state of publication of scientific research in bio/medico-oriented journals. Big publishers like Elsevier making money by charging high prices for journals that are composed of works by scientists who they do not pay for their work BUT THE TAXPAYERS DO, and reviewed by scientists who they do not pay either for their peer reviews. And on top, the authors loose all rights to their work, have to wait months for publication, are not allowed to submit to another journal at the same time, and have to keep their work secret until publication which means that useful research is delayed by up to two years and by consequence other scientists might go down blind alleys or commit the same mistakes. It is absolutely outrageous. And, you have to pay to get access to the research which is in 99% of cases PAID FOR BY THE TAXPAYER!

Compare this to physics, computing, and mathematics. Every researcher publishes his or her preprints (the non-peer reviewed article that is sent to a journal) on the same server and then sent it to a journal. The journals were forced to accept that the work will be online, and they add the peer-review stage to it. Now, you can read all research that any physicist, computer scientist or mathematician has done over the last decade for free on one single server.

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