[Taxacom] Paywall our taxonomic tidbit

Lynn Raw lynn at afriherp.org
Sun Jan 17 19:35:36 CST 2016

Stephen, it seems that your argument is against publisher profiteering from public funds. Maybe if everyone forgot the idea of impact factors and other measures dreamed up by publishers (I believe these derive from ISI back in the 1970s) there might be a chance for other publication models to succeed. There are always costs even though web data is relatively cheaper than printing. However meeting actual costs will always be less that meeting these costs plus whatever profit margin is needed to satisfy company directors and shareholders. Many scientific societies and associations have moved from self publishing to commercial publishing models. I presume there is a good reason for this but I don’t really understand why when electronic publication costs could well be generated through advertising and membership fees. I see publishers charging over GB£30 for access to papers that they do not even hold the copyright to yet they get away with it. You may be surprised to learn that in the UK today there are at least two major printed daily newspapers that are provided free to thousands of readers. These are open access print newspapers whose revenue is generated without charging the readers or obtaining public funding. There are alternative models so why are you not exploring these?


> On 17 Jan 2016, at 22:41, Stephen Thorpe <stephen_thorpe at yahoo.co.nz> wrote:
> The current system (reader pays for what they want to read) has proved workable, sustainable and accessible to date! Anyway, it isn't about that. It is about the way that open access is being lobbied for with all sorts of bogus claims about the public good. Nobody seems to be clear on who actually benefits from OA or how. As I said, one danger is that a lot of public research money will now go straight to publishers, thereby decreasing the amount of taxonomic research being undertaken. Another danger is that taxonomists without public funding will no longer be able to afford to publish. Maybe you don't care ..
> Stephen
> --------------------------------------------
> On Mon, 18/1/16, JF Mate <aphodiinaemate at gmail.com> wrote:
> Subject: Re: [Taxacom] Paywall our taxonomic tidbit
> To: "Taxacom" <taxacom at mailman.nhm.ku.edu>
> Received: Monday, 18 January, 2016, 11:06 AM
> Stephen, please explain
> your plan/idea for a workable, sustainble and
> accessible journal ecosystem. This is not a
> trap, I just want to know
> where the last 60+
> mails are leading to (a suspect nowhere...).
> good night
> Jason
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