[Taxacom] UNESCO Open Science Recommendation

Nick Grishin grishin at chop.swmed.edu
Sat Mar 7 13:29:03 CST 2020


> OA will prevail.

Yes it will. Indeed, science benefits best from open and free 
communication.

But the way OA is implemented today is unreasonable. Paying over $500 per 
OA page of a paper benefits nobody except the publisher.

The amount a journal charges depends on how the journal feels about its 
standing in the field. Starting OA journals charge less. More prestigious 
journals charge more. I love Pensoft, they do great job on electronic 
publishing. But when Zookeys was launched, the charge was about $20 per 
page, which was somewhat reasonable. And now, it is about $800 per paper. 
Which for an 8-page paper (usually enough to make your point) translates 
to $100 per page: a 5-fold increase from the past.

Why do most taxonomists publish in Zootaxa these days? Because it is a 
decent journal that is free to publish in. And more, optional OA is $20 
per page.


One solution is to eliminate journals, because publishing today does not 
need printing, and each paper can and should stand on its own, not as a 
segment of a journal. On-line platform that publishes papers, not journals 
(similar to bioRvix, or like Zookeys for everyone, so many people publish 
in Zookeys these days) seems to be best for science and open 
communication, and it will be the most economical solution to OA (it 
cannot cost more than $20 per archived page, probably less). Yes, as 
someone pointed out, this no-journal system hurts societies. But I think 
it benefits science overall by providing enormous savings, part of which 
can be directed towards societies.

The agencies that require OA should provide support for such publishing on 
top of research funding they assign to a researcher, not from it, and do 
it in a way that decreases the total effective funds spent on publishing 
today, not increases it further. n


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