[Taxacom] Paywall our taxonomic tidbit

Stephen Thorpe stephen_thorpe at yahoo.co.nz
Mon Jan 18 15:04:11 CST 2016

One immediate problem is that for taxonomy (well, strictly speaking for nomenclatural purposes) drafts are worthless. It is the published version which matters.

Is it foolish to divert scarce research funds to pay for Gold OA? That really is the question! The answer depends on the economic details of the particular case. I suspect a scenario that goes something like this: a taxonomist works for an institution which claims overheads on external (public) funding. The taxonomist is under pressure to bring in more and more funding. Taxonomic revisions tend to be easy to make a start on, but then get exponentially harder and more time consuming to complete to a rigorous standard. The taxonomist only has to do as much work as the funding covers. So, make a start, then blow the rest of the funding on open access fees (pad out the publication to as many pages as possible and choose an expensive journal) and expenses on field trips. Then move on to the next grant and repeat ...

As I said, the economics of spending public money is very different to that of spending one's own money. So, what is or isn't "foolish" depends on what you are trying to achieve.


On Tue, 19/1/16, rch <rch at skynet.be> wrote:

 Subject: Re: [Taxacom] Paywall our taxonomic tidbit
 To: taxacom at mailman.nhm.ku.edu
 Received: Tuesday, 19 January, 2016, 9:35 AM
 Stephen Thorpe wrote
 "OK, so wtf is going on here?? ..."
 I forwarded that question to Stevan Harnad, who knows more
 about these
 things than I do
 He replied
 (1) Paying for Open Access (OA) Publishing (Gold OA) is not
 the only way
 to provide OA, nor is it the best way.
 (2) The best way is to publish in the most suitable journal
 and to make
 the final draft OA by self-archiving it in your
 institutional repository
 at no cost (**[Green OA]**).
 (3) Yes, it is foolish to divert scarce research funds to
 pay for Gold
 OA (**[“Fool’s Gold OA”]**)
 (4) Once Green OA prevails globally, **[subscriptions will
 unsustainable]** and will be cancelled and publishers will
 cut obsolete
 costs and downsize and convert to affordable, sustainable
 OA]**  paid for not out of research funds but out of a
 fraction of the
 institutional subscription cancellation savings windfall.
 Richard H
 In case those **links** dont survive the journey, here they
 are en claire:-
 **Green OA
 **Fool's Gold OA
     Google harnad ("fool's gold" OR "fools gold")
 **Subscriptions will become unsustainable
 **Fair-Gold OA
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