[Taxacom] UNESCO Open Science Recommendation

Nick Grishin grishin at chop.swmed.edu
Sat Mar 7 16:28:04 CST 2020

> Interesting comments. I agree, paying over $500 per OA page of a paper 
> benefits nobody except the publisher. That is not a problem with OA, it 
> is a problem with the publishers monopoly. I see too logical options, 
> Either institutes/universities (or funders) unite and bargain reasonable 
> prices (the journals provide a service, it does not have to be totally 
> free) or we publish entirely without journals but with some measurements 
> to sustain societies.

Of course, nothing in this world is free except lies (and even these you 
frequently pay for, and dearly). Someone pays for this: 
and for this:
and that is neither researchers who deposit (i.e. ="publish") DNA 
sequences for "free", nor their institutions.

Are these DNA sequence depositories worth it? I think absolutely! A DNA 
sequence itself may be significantly more valuable than a paper describing 

Why is publishing a paper these days any different from "publishing" a DNA 
sequence? Peer-reviewers and scientists-editors work for "free" anyway, 
and the publishing infrastructure cannot be much more expensive than 
GenBank. Even in the worst case scenario it would be at least an order of 
magnitude more economical than the present publishing system.

And then, there is this:
which already works as a "platinum OA" platform.

Basically, yes, someone has to pay, and that most likely will be research 
funders directly (governments, private foundations, etc.), and even if the 
cost is pushed on authors, it should not exceed $20 per page, probably 

I wish that OA activists realize such problems (increasingly high charges 
on authors to publish in OA, and the true reasons behind it, such as 
journal-based publishing, instead of deposition-based publishing) and make 
it a priority to reform the system that is turning bad. n

> Op za 7 mrt. 2020 20:31 schreef Nick Grishin via Taxacom <
> taxacom at mailman.nhm.ku.edu>:
>>> 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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