The New Publication Paradigm..Money down the toilet

Historically we would publish our papers in scientific journals. We would donate our work for free and sometimes even pay a page charge to do this.

We would assign copyright to the publishers. They may give you 50-100 reprints for free to give away.

Librabries would take a subscription to the journals and academics could get access to the journals via their library.

The Internet occurred and people have instant access and they don’t go to libraries anymore.

However, the People who have the ears of Government and the Research Councils said that work paid for by the Public should be accessible to the Public so they generated the concept of “open access” 

The journals laughed not only could they get you to pay publication fees, get libraries to pay for subscriptions but now they could also charge and open access fee. This can be $1,500-$5,000 per article to get this “Gold open access” so they become accessible right away.

This cost is often only a fraction of the actual cost to do the work

The research councils (NIH equivalent) would pay the open access fee, but now the research councils give a set amount to the universities to pay for this. They give less than the actual cost, so universities loose money or they stop funding this and make you do “Green Open access” where the article is embargoed for some time before a copy of the accepted paper (not the published type set version) is available.

Charities said yes do this but won’t pay the fees.

Journals had another laugh, because what they did was set up new open access journals. 

They are common in cases of high impact journals where people send their best work to. The top journal turns the paper down but says that you can submit to their open access journal  for quick reviewing and then pay the open access fee “ker ching”.

Importantly it allowed for a load of chancers to set up loads of rubbish open-access journals. You submit a paper to them and then pay for the pleasure of publishing. Ten papers could be $20,000 and all you have to do is house the pdf document on a server as there is no printed version and the work can be typeset in the middle or far East using computer software to increase your profit margin. 
Ker-ching, Ker-ching. They don’t even pay to put the work on “Pubmed” so no one is aware of paper. 

They invite you submit (we get loads of these each day) and them charge you. Like mugs some people do this. They are desperate to fill their pages and publish any old c**p. 

They also think of loads of titles to make new journal sound like existing good ones so the “Journal of Immunology” could become a new Immunology Journal or International Journal of Immunology.

Today, I got a request to submit to the “Annals of multiple sclerosis and related disorder”. 

Wonder what the editors of “Anals of Neurology” and “Multiple Sclerosis and related Disorders think about i?

What next “Multiple Sclerosis and related Disorders journal”

Is this a waste of money?

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  • Had one this week from "journal of orthopaedic case reports" holding the acronym JOCR. I don't think I'd dare go to my Prof and ask if I can publish under their name in the joker journal…

  • Hi MD,

    This is something I have wondered about since my foray into the "Web of MS."

    I see lots of little excerpts on MS related to research and studies. Most of these when I'd attempt access the information want money and often said excerpts appear enticing.

    I was under the assumption that a significant portion of said revenues went back to the authorship and/or academic institutions associated with the papers?

    If I understand you right, the institutions need pay to have the materials online as well as do the work involved in publishing as well (aka: PDF's)?

    Are you also stating that upstart entities often just snipe existing information just to make their venue have datum?

    Certainly it takes people/resources to operate these webs but what proportions of revenues go where?

    One would "think?" that governmental entities would be on top of this sort of thing via pressure from all forms of entities connected to the target demographic of information(s)?

    In medicine, universities, research facilities, researchers, clinicians, hospitals even Pharma have interests within said data. Information authored via research in universities is presumably funded by the public be that direct, government grant(s), stipends, etc. Point being, its in the public interest since universities tend to mostly be registered not for profit entities.

    Certainly there are commercial based entities, for profit universities, research businesses, pharma producing information as well.

    Obviously its in the publics best interest to have open free access to said information(s). Why would this not be regulated by governments?

    Surely the costing of something such as PubMed is far far far less than revenues generated by it. In the same frame of mind however, one would think that the inability of access to the information by professionals is not in the public interest towards which is their charge is it not?

    I guess perhaps I am a little confused as to how this all works?

    • Nothing goes back to the author nothing back to the institutions and yes they have to pay

      No the upstarts just bombard you with emails asking you to submit. Or they ask youto be on editorial board so you can stick it on your CV. Then you feel obliged to contribute. Alternatively you are asked to do a themed output and so you ask your mates who find it hard to turn you down.

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