[Taxacom] Paywall our taxonomic tidbit

Geoff Read gread at actrix.gen.nz
Thu Jan 14 22:17:56 CST 2016


You say " absolutely no point in paying publishers up front to make the
publications available freely to everybody in the world"

The idea that we should restrict access, hide away information from the
public, and make it difficult to read our works is abhorrent to me.
Fortunately we've come a long way in my lifetime towards open exchange and
discussion - the internet as the shining example, and special mention to
the access via BHL which has revolutionized our work as taxonomists more

Every paper published in Zootaxa today was paywalled. I don't have a
subscription, so I don't have the access to Zootaxa that I know you do,
but I'm interested in dipping into a wide range of taxonomy when I see
something on the spot that just might be worth reading but is outside my
narrow specialty. It helps me with my own work and it's good to see other
ways of doing things, interpretations of the code, and the new techniques
used. To do that today I need to write ten begging letters, and wait. Or
pay 140 dollars ($14 per paper).  So I'll look at none of them.

Yesterday was short paper day at Zootaxa - every one of those six was
paywalled (including one from a colleague at Elena's institute), but could
have so easily have been open access and read much more widely for just
lunch money for most of the authors, or around a taxi fare if their
employer pays. Hence my amazement that people would not do that when they
had the chance.


-----Original Message-----
From: Taxacom [mailto:taxacom-bounces at mailman.nhm.ku.edu] On Behalf Of
Stephen Thorpe
Sent: Friday, 15 January 2016 2:46 p.m.
To: taxacom at mailman.nhm.ku.edu; Elena Kupriyanova
<Elena.Kupriyanova at austmus.gov.au>
Subject: Re: [Taxacom] Paywall our taxonomic tidbit

Dear Elena,

I like your post because I am trying to get people to think this matter
through, and your post shows that you are starting to do just that. There
appears to be a significant group who are lobbying for open access, even
though, as you correctly point out, it is usually not very hard to get
hold of publications for free, even when they are not open access. What
matters is that the people who need to read the publications can read
them. There is absolutely no point in paying publishers up front to make
the punlications available freely to everybody in the world, given that
only a few people will ever need to read most of them! Somthing very dodgy
is going on here - those who stand to gain financially from open access
are lobbying hard in favour of it! No surprises there, really ...


On Fri, 15/1/16, Elena Kupriyanova <Elena.Kupriyanova at austmus.gov.au> wrote:

 Subject: Re: [Taxacom] Paywall our taxonomic tidbit
 To: "taxacom at mailman.nhm.ku.edu" <taxacom at mailman.nhm.ku.edu>
 Received: Friday, 15 January, 2016, 1:07 PM

 Dear colleagues,

 I am really confused by now re what the point of this
 discussion is. Should we make our taxonomic papers open
 access or should we use our grant money to do so instead of
 paying for it out our own pockets? I honestly cannot see any
 paywall - whenever I need a paper, I just write to the
 author and ask for a pdf. I am happy to send my own papers
 to anybody who cares to read them (gosh, where is a chance
 they might even cite me ;) Besides, there is

 Dr. Elena Kupriyanova
 Senior Research Scientist
 Marine Invertebrates

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