[Taxacom] Paywall our taxonomic tidbit

Scott Monks monks.scott at gmail.com
Thu Jan 14 14:30:16 CST 2016

I will comment on several posts to no fill up your inboxes.

A potential problem of a two-tiered publication system was mentioned.
	I think, and personally find, that this is much more of a problem than most are aware of.  In México, the amounts mentioned ($20 dollars/author and 130 euros) are much more “expensive” than those amounts are for authors in the U.S., Canada, and some of Europe.  It is bad, but think how much worse the exchange rate is for those in even less developed countries!  And there salaries?  I am sure they are way lower even than mine!  That is why many of them publish in non-indexed almost unknown journals that the rest of the world´s taxonomists might never see.  However, I am a fan and supporter of open-access and pay for it when necessary (but look for free journals when I can find them!).

	Paying for open-access publication costs with grant funds?  Here, grants are very strict about how you spend the money, but if you put publication costs in your proposal then there is no problem.  The problem arises when you want to make the payment!  Institutions normally do not have credit cards that we would have access to for international payments.  Worse, most institutions will only reimburse you for payments that you made directly if you have a national “receipt”.  Since a journal, like Zootaxa, cannot give an approved receipt (one acceptable for tax purposes in México) then you cannot get reimbursed for those costs.  If a national journal is open-access, no problem.  For Zootaxa, and others, I pay from my own pocket, but those just starting out, with lower salaries, might not have cash available.

	Finally, for the moment, there are more and more “open-access” journals and editorials every day.  Most/many/some of them are just a means of sucking up as much money from those who could never pass a review process is a high-impact, high-quality journal—a sort of “if you want to publish with us, just pay and we’ll publish anything!” sort of system.  Others are excellent venues for scholarly, professional publications.  Being open-access or not does not make a journal a publisher of quality works—but if they are equal, I will always pick the one that is open-access because I want the widest audience for my work that I can get!

Hope I haven’t rambled on too long!

Regards, Scott Monks

> On Jan 13, 2016, at 6:58 PM, Geoff Read <gread at actrix.gen.nz> wrote:
> Am I unreasonable in expecting minor contributions to Zootaxa to be
> affordable for authors as open access as a convenience for their readers? 
> For instance that's USD 20 for each author in today's worst 2 page case!
> Hopefully they earn (or did) much more that per hour.
> http://www.mapress.com/j/zt/article/view/zootaxa.4066.2.5
> Happens quite frequently - what are these contributors thinking? Should we
> perhaps start a fund to help them out?
> --
> Geoffrey B. Read, Ph.D.
> Wellington, NEW ZEALAND
> gread at actrix.gen.nz
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Dr. Scott Monks
Universidad Autónoma del Estado de Hidalgo (UAEH)
Centro de Investigaciones Biológicas (CIB)
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Hidalgo, México.

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