[Taxacom] Journal of Hymenoptera Research

Dean Pentcheff pentcheff at gmail.com
Thu Jan 31 17:12:51 CST 2013

On Thu, Jan 31, 2013 at 2:21 PM, Doug Yanega <dyanega at ucr.edu> wrote:

> ...
why would
> the Society collapse if the journal suddenly cost vastly less to
> produce (e.g., if they went to online publishing with no print
> version)?

That's a key question here. Does it cost (the society) less to publish in
an online open access journal than in the classical commercial publishing
model? I don't know (and neither does Donat :). Scientists like me who are
not intimately involved in the publishing process tend to think that
publishing an online Open Source journal should be very cheap. The
experience of some recent large-scale Open Source journals argues otherwise
— there's been a surprisingly big sticker shock at the final costs of
publishing. We need better information, particularly for small-scale
operations (e.g. not PLoS ONE).

> ...

any publication of any society that is NOT being made
> available electronically is doing LESS to promote the exposure and
> impact of an author's research than would otherwise be the case, and
> the argument could therefore be made that publishing in
> limited-distribution specialist journals is *bad* for one's
> professional development, regardless of how well-targeted the
> audience may be.

Score! Tilt! Jackpot! YesYesYes. I cannot agree more thoroughly. It has
always seemed utterly paradoxical to me that a society dedicated to
promulgating the study of a subject would deliberately choose to keep its
scientific efforts as inaccessible as possible by keeping them behind
paywalls. The paradox is semi-resolved if we assume that, in many cases,
the people making the society decisions aren't really aware of the modern
full spectrum of publishing options.

> ...

in times like these,
> would it not be helpful if professional societies DID use their funds
> to actively support taxonomists, rather than simply giving them a
> comfortable place to publish?

Absolutely. Science is people working, not published results.

> Doug Yanega        Dept. of Entomology         Entomology Research Museum
Dean Pentcheff
pentcheff at gmail.com
dpentche at nhm.org

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