Search Archive

23-Feb-2008

We produce the knowledge they take away the profits.

Here is another reaction of a scholar on conventional scholarly publishing. Best scientific knowledge is produced (authored) and quality controlled (peer-reviewed and scrutinized by editorial board) by scientific and academic community. Arunn Narasimhan writes in his Unruled Notebook » Blog Archive » Open Access Publishing
.."As a researcher, I do all the hard work, think of an idea, find the research methods and tools, find the funding if necessary to accomplish certain tasks to realize the idea and see its merit, write the results using the idea and analyze the pros and cons of the idea and send that research article usually to a research journal office comprising of other researchers. The subsequent peer review process that qualifies my idea for its worthiness as original useful scientific knowledge is done by these academics and researchers mostly for no fee. It is a service they all must perform because it will be reciprocated in kind and quality by other researchers in the community to uplift their research work. Strict but free of money"..
Scholars give away their papers to journals without expecting any financial benefits in return. Their unknown peers do the quality control but do not even get a mention for doing so. Editorial boards consisting of eminent scholars take difficult decisions on some controversial papers. They also hardly get an annual subscription of the journal they edit. However, all these participants from the same academic and scientific community are doing all this because this is how the academic peer ranking and rating model works. And let us not forget, it is this very community that purchase the knowledge they have produced from the publishers. Without that producing or adding new knowledge won't be possible. Those not having enough purchasing power would obviously be handicapped in making contributions to such knowledge generation process.

It could be understood that prior to Internet era publishers were the only route for publishing nascent scientific literature. They have sound distribution network in the book trade coupled with marketing power. But Internet has given an alternative to their distribution network. Shouldn't now there be an alternative publishing model in the form of Open Access?

No comments: