[Taxacom] Paywall our taxonomic tidbit

Stephen Thorpe stephen_thorpe at yahoo.co.nz
Fri Jan 15 14:17:02 CST 2016

Presumably student fees (directly or indirectly). While student fees are in some sense "public money", it is not public science funding. Also I doubt if student fees would decrease if libraries didn't have to pay for subscriptions any more.

On Sat, 16/1/16, Mary Barkworth <Mary.Barkworth at usu.edu> wrote:

 Subject: RE: [Taxacom] Paywall our taxonomic tidbit
 To: "Stephen Thorpe" <stephen_thorpe at yahoo.co.nz>, "Taxacom" <taxacom at mailman.nhm.ku.edu>, "Roderic Page" <Roderic.Page at glasgow.ac.uk>
 Received: Saturday, 16 January, 2016, 9:02 AM
 Who do you think pays for
 the library subscriptions of public universities?  
 -----Original Message-----
 From: Taxacom [mailto:taxacom-bounces at mailman.nhm.ku.edu]
 On Behalf Of Stephen Thorpe
 Sent: Friday,
 January 15, 2016 12:59 PM
 To: Taxacom <taxacom at mailman.nhm.ku.edu>;
 Roderic Page <Roderic.Page at glasgow.ac.uk>
 Subject: Re: [Taxacom] Paywall our taxonomic
 Rod is looking at
 the issue from Rod's perspective. For me personally,
 open access would also be a good thing, but I am not just
 looking at it from my own perspective! Also, as far as I
 know, University library subscriptions to journals are not
 paid for by public money!
 On Fri, 15/1/16, Roderic Page <Roderic.Page at glasgow.ac.uk>
  Subject: Re:
 [Taxacom] Paywall our taxonomic tidbit
 "Taxacom" <taxacom at mailman.nhm.ku.edu>
  Received: Friday, 15 January, 2016, 9:15 PM
  Reading this thread
  suggests that there’s still a lot to do to
 make the case  for Open Access. There seems to be confusion
 and  misunderstanding about some of the motivations behind
 making  academic literature freely available to all.
  If you have 8 minutes to
  spare, here's a nice video from PhD comics
  Regarding the arguments
  public money, the traditional model
 is something like
  1. Public fund
 to do research
  2. Public funds
  university libraries to pay millions per year
 to subscribe  to journals so researchers can read the
 literature  3. Public doesn’t have access to that 
  Step 2 is
  incredibly profitable for some publishers, see
  . An academic at a university is mostly
 sheltered from  these issues because it is free to publish
 your paper, and  “free” to read most papers (if you
 library has bought a  subscription). If you can’t get a
 paper you may be able to  use your network of contacts to
 get a copy. So, at first  glance it’s often hard to see
 what the fuss is about.
 Open access changes 2 and
  1. Public fund
  scientists to do research
 Public funds
  costs of publishing in open
 access journals  3. Public has free access to that
  For academics
 (assuming you
  have grant funding for
 publication charges) little changes,  you publish your work
 and you can read it for free. But now  the public has
  Perhaps even more
 importantly, the work is  “free” not just in the sense
 of beer but in terms of  liberty. We can do things such as
 translate the text into  other computer formats, other
 human languages, mine it for  facts, index the text in
 databases to make it easy to  search, and so on. There is a
 huge interest in text mining  the literature, which
 publishers have not always been  helpful about enabling
 (see http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/495295a and
 http://contentmine.org ). If article
 are  locked behind a paywall much of this is difficult, if
 not  impossible to do. If the only way to get many articles
 is by  appealing to colleagues (e.g., the #icanhazpdf
 emails often  seen on TAXACOM https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ICanHazPDF
  ) then large scale text mining won’t
  It may well be that
 much of
  the literature is of little
 immediately apparent value, but  just because this may be
 the case now this need not always  be the case. Anyone who
 has used the Biodiversity Heritage  Library (BHL) http://biodiversitylibrary.org will
 have  come across obscure little papers that capture data
 that  today may be very useful (e.g., checklists of species
 found  in environments that have since vanished or been
 modified,  or for countries that are currently hard to
 access). To  assert that we know the value of all current
 research for  all time is *cough* premature. As an aside,
 imagine if ALL  taxonomic literature was free to search and
 read in BHL - is  this not something that would be
 incredibly useful?
 someone who is an academic
  but who has no
 grant funding, and as a former editor of a  journal, I
 completely get that open access publication fees  can be a
 financial obstacle to authors, especially in a  field with
 limited funds or where many people working are  not
 academics. Nothing in life is free, publishing costs 
 money. Some journals have fairly steep author fees, some
 are  exploring much smaller charges based (e.g., http://peerj.com  ).
  There are lost of
 around open access, but there are much bigger issues  at
 stake than simply how much it costs to publish an  article.
 And I’d argue that for a field that is constantly 
 complaining about how it is undervalued by the wider 
 scientific community, any notion that we shouldn’t be 
 doing everything possible to maximise the accessibility of 
 our work seems, at best, short sighted.
  Roderic Page
  Professor of
  Institute of
 Biodiversity, Animal
  Health and Comparative
  College of
 Medical, Veterinary and Life Sciences
  Kerr Building
 University of Glasgow
  Glasgow G12 8QQ,
  Email:  Roderic.Page at glasgow.ac.uk<mailto:Roderic.Page at glasgow.ac.uk>
  Tel:  +44 141 330 4778
 Skype:  rdmpage
  Facebook:  http://www.facebook.com/rdmpage
  LinkedIn:  http://uk.linkedin.com/in/rdmpage
  Twitter:  http://twitter.com/rdmpage
  Blog:  http://iphylo.blogspot.com
  ORCID:  http://orcid.org/0000-0002-7101-9767
  Citations:  http://scholar.google.co.uk/citations?hl=en&user=4Z5WABAAAAAJ
  ResearchGate https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Roderic_Page
  Taxacom Mailing List
  Taxacom at mailman.nhm.ku.edu
  The Taxacom Archive back to 1992 may be 
 searched at: http://taxacom.markmail.org
  Celebrating 29 years of
  Taxacom in 2016.
 Taxacom Mailing List
 Taxacom at mailman.nhm.ku.edu
 The Taxacom Archive back to 1992 may be
 searched at: http://taxacom.markmail.org
 Celebrating 29 years of
 Taxacom in 2016.

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