[Taxacom] Paywall our taxonomic tidbit

Stephen Thorpe stephen_thorpe at yahoo.co.nz
Sun Jan 17 18:28:48 CST 2016

Yes, I suffer from paywalls too. But what is the alternative? Solving one problem tends to create other problems. Open access fees might have the effect of preventing authors without sufficient funding from being able to afford to publish. It might also divert a significant proportion of research funding (without an increase in that funding) to publisher's profits, resulting in less funding for research. If there is an increase in funding to compensate, then it comes out of the public purse. It seems to be being sold as a for the public good, but the public at large gets nothing out of it, so let's all stop pretending that they do! Paying for "free" access is a complex thing. It can work. I pay up front for a month of unlimited public transport because it works for me since I am an unusually heavy user of public transport and the price of cash fares has really been cranked up. But, for many other people, it is not economical to buy monthly passes. It all depends on the details. I'm pretty sure though that the general public aren't heavy users of specialised taxonomic literature! At any rate, there is no guarantee that research funding will increase to compensate for open access fees. Besides, there is still the issue of retrospective open access. Chances are that we may end up in a situation of having to pay BOTH subscriptions (for already published stuff) AND open access fees (for new stuff). Neither are guaranteed to be cheap, particularly for high impact journals. 


On Mon, 18/1/16, Fred Schueler <bckcdb at istar.ca> wrote:

 Subject: Re: [Taxacom] Paywall our taxonomic tidbit
 To: taxacom at mailman.nhm.ku.edu
 Received: Monday, 18 January, 2016, 1:08 PM
 On 1/17/2016 5:41 PM,
 Stephen Thorpe wrote:
 > The current
 system (reader pays for what they want to read) has proved
 workable, sustainable and accessible to date!
 * except that those of us
 without institutional connections can't afford 
 to read anything more than the abstract of
 commercially "published" work 
 unless we badger the authors to send out
 personal copies. This means 
 "commercially published" and "samizdat"
 are synonymous, except for 
 the public
 display of the abstract.
            Frederick W. Schueler
 & Aleta Karstad
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 Canada K0G 1T0
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 Limestone Plain 44* 52'N 75* 42'W
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