[Taxacom] Journal of Hymenoptera Research

Mary Barkworth Mary.Barkworth at usu.edu
Thu Jan 31 17:22:09 CST 2013

In response to Doug's comments - other functions of a society might include promoting meetings, including supporting attendance by members who might not receive much in the way of institutional support (if any).  

-----Original Message-----
From: taxacom-bounces at mailman.nhm.ku.edu [mailto:taxacom-bounces at mailman.nhm.ku.edu] On Behalf Of Dean Pentcheff
Sent: Thursday, January 31, 2013 4:13 PM
To: taxacom at mailman.nhm.ku.edu
Subject: Re: [Taxacom] Journal of Hymenoptera Research

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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