10 thoughts on “#OpenAccess: Some Points of Reflection

  1. Have you looked at putting a pre-review version online at UCL (I think the service is UCL Discovery?). Then it is behind a pay wall but external people may still access the information

  2. Lovely post as usual, el maestro.

    Few things:

    1. Mike did correct that article about being ‘immoral’ on his person SV-POW blog, definitely worth reading into; I think it came down to the act itself being immoral, which was then slammed by a successive suite of palaeontologists in the comments there too
    2. You know you can upload a pre-print copy of your article to Academia.edu/here/UCL’s repository and make it available via green open access, right? (I think)
    3. You weren’t funded by RCUK/Wellcome Trust etc., so aren’t bound by their OA policies
    4. Boycotting non-OA journals won’t stifle anything, as scientists can just as easily publish in alternative OA venues
    5. Wiley’s announcement is expected, as no RCUK-funded researchers would be able to publish with them if they weren’t compliant with the RCUK policy, it’s the logical move but doesn’t imply that they’re backing OA for reasons other than cash still
    6. Do you know this community? If so, why do you need a journal to reach them? A simple email with an attachment can sort this (I imagine heritage science isn’t exactly a vast field). Besides, you can still go for a mid-tier journal, and UCL might pay the APC for a hybrid journal for you to make it OA (could even try through the Geological Society? Discount for Fellows thar)
    7. Higher impact means very little on the individual basis – it’s an average citation metric over two years for all articles, and actually correlates more to rejection rate, not ‘quality’ of research.
    8. You could go for high IF (~4) and free OA anyway with PLoS One – they’ve never rejected an APC waiver request.

    So no, you’re not immoral for publishing the Geology Today article, and anyone who says you are would be a numpty. And there are always alternatives to making the information accessible, which you’ve done here by blogging about it! For your Master’s thesis, I’d recommend seeing what your library at UCL can do in terms of APC coverage for any gold OA/hybrid journals in your field, or if any don’t charge APCs, and seeing which journals allow you to publish via the green route too. Alternatively, PLoS! 🙂

    • Thanks for this Jon. i know there was a lot of backlash about the ‘immoral’ blog, which I agreed with.
      I was going to make the point that I have no obligation to publish OA as it is my own opinions and I can make people pay for them if I really fancy, its not publicly funded research but decided to leave that off Twitter and the blog.
      The conservation community is vast, and I want the research to reach as many people as possible, as the methodology I have used was also novel, and is only the second time it has been used in a study (at least at the time of writing) so want to get this out there to as many people as possible – not just to geological curators (which I will also do as a subsequent act to publishing properly).
      Thanks for all the other options, will be considering lots of them and speaking to my supervisors who also know more about this – who to get it out to and how – than I do.

      • Coolio, if the community is that big, I’d shoot for a relevant journal then. Definitely worth researching into what current OA policies are for these journals, and then seeing which suits you best or you can work with with help from UCL. Green OA should be no issue seeing as you have a popular website, and presumably an academia.edu page with connections in the field (this way you get the best of both worlds, usually with an embargo period). But yeah, there’s no obligation for you to do any of this – it’s your choice on who you want to reach, and how much access/accessibility you want to grant. Why not whack it in a journal, not bother with OA, and then write about it here, and maybe ping off a few emails to media outlets to see what they think? Happy to cover it for the EGU too 🙂

  3. I sympathise with the dilemma — the question of OA publishing is particularly difficult for those in the early part of their careers seeking to establish a reputation.

    Although Wiley have recently announced they are making their policies more OA friendly (but not for all their journals), this seems to be a direct response to a shift in RCUK policy. It’s doesn’t look like a principled move, especially given the letter re-printed in this blogpost. If we are relying on publishers to drive OA, we’ll be waiting a long time.

    That said, given the subject matter I wonder if a request to the journal editor to make your article OA, at least for a month, might generate some positive publicity?

    • Hi Stephen,
      Thanks for the comment! I will be looking at the license again for the distribution of the paper – I have a feeling that as long as it it not for commercial profit it may be allowed to go onto my blog, otherwise I will ask the editor to see whether the particular volume could be the one ‘sample’ open access one that is available on the site.

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