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March 31, 2008



Thanks for the comment and for the open access service. Here is the reality that I am in touch with however; I am not against for profit publishing - as I said in my post, its not the money that bothers me - its the fact that even when I pay my $50 for access, I can't share, can't send that article to my peers...in short, that great data, that meaningful information just got locked in an archaic system of copyright that mostly benefits the publishers of the journals and not the academics involved.

The great irony there is that the academics, writing in colleges and universities are probably already getting paid by their schools and this writing is part of their tenure track requirements or it is part of achieving that tenure that they are taking on. Either way, I'm guessing that the SAGE is not paying them for their articles and if it is, there is no way it is paying them what it really cost in time/effort to write that article. So then what is the publisher adding?
Peer review? Labor again supplied by other academics either for free or for a small fee (been there done that).
Publicity and the ability to say that "I have been published." And for that they get the rights to the work of the academic at least in some measure.
My frustration is that there must be a way to move from the academic freedom that allowed the essays to be written in the first place to a publishing paradigm that keeps the content free and accessible to as wide an audience as possible.
The alternative is that this is it...we have exhausted all possible publishing models that can both reliably publicize peer-reviewed material and make money for the people supplying the intellectual labor. I don't buy that reality.

I agree with you in theory. But having just come off a 2-year editorial stint on an open access journal (Evidence Based Library and Information Practice), I'm more in tune with reality. Open access publishing requires a committed cadre of volunteers, institutional support from someone or something, and lots of time and dedication. I've been involved with other open access journals that either never really got off the ground, or died an unseemly death. Sometimes for-profit publishing is the most reliable method of dissemination...

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Quoth she/he...

  • "The hallmark of revolution is that the goals of the revolutionaries cannot be contained by the institutional structure of the society they live in. As a result, either the revolutionaries are put down, or some of those institutions are transmogrified, replaced, or simply destroyed. We are plainly witnessing a restructuring of the music and newspaper businesses, but their suffering isn’t unique, it’s prophetic." --Clay Shirky

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