Wednesday, May 02, 2018

Paying for internet publication of peer-reviewed science articles seen as a threat to "good science"

Here’s an article, at first glance seeming to apply to the narrow topic of wildlife management (from the Journal of Wildlife Management), that challenges the whole concept of self-publishing.  The title is “How publishing in open access journals threatens science and what we can do about it”.  The original PDF costs 38$ (sounds like a secret plot to make it expensive to read someone’s argument against you) but you can read the abstract on Wiley here. 

The authors apparently object to the practice of researchers paying for having to have peer-reviewed articles available on the Internet.  They claim that will weaken science with weaker articles and weaken the credibility of the peer-review process. 

Here is a reddit criticism of the article. 

The piece was also shared on Twitter (link  ).

This is 180 degrees counter to the ideas of Aaron Swartz, and to the open-access for science that Jack Andraka has often advocated in Ted Talks. 
The irony of the appearance in a wildlife journal is not lost on me.  The First Baptist Church of the City of Washington DC, in which I grew up, is next to the “Wildlife Building” in Washington, near Dupont Cirlce.  
While we're on the subject of wildlife, watch this Facebook video maintaining that crows are as intelligent as seven year old children.. 

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