Will we publish to the S club Beat

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I always thought that S club 7 were abit rubbish, although my Nephew would beg to differ, But is the “S club 12” going to be any better?.

They have come out with plan-S, I suspect it will be plan-B and not the second idea after the “open access fiasco” that they have created by lack of thought.

Plan-S is another initiative that 12 organisizations in Europe have put forward as the new way to publish. S is for Shock but some publishing houses have already called it Plan B for ollocks.

The key principle states that by 2021, research funded by public or private grants must be published in open access journals or platforms, or made immediately available in open access repositories without an embargo. The ten principles are:

  1. authors should retain copyright on their publications, which must be published under an open license such as Creative Commons;
  2. the members of the coalition should establish robust criteria and requirements for compliant open access journals and platforms;
  3. they should also provide incentives for the creation of compliant open access journals and platforms if they do not yet exist (KER CHING);
  4. publication fees should be covered by the funders or universities, not individual researchers;
  5. such publication fees should be standardized and capped;
  6. universities, research organizations, and libraries should align their policies and strategies;
  7. for books and monographs, the timeline may be extended beyond 2021;
  8. open archives and repositories are acknowledged for their importance;
  9. hybrid open-access journals are not compliant with the key principle;
  10. members of the coalition should monitor and sanction non-compliance

This is the new model coming our way in the UK. It is Open Access and it says importantly who pays for it and how it will be delivered. If it is to be REFed it will have to be plan Sed. If the USA doesn’t buy into it it is a dead concept. Anyway all you UK academics take note you will be dancing to the S club beat…or does it go crazy, crazy beat. Where’s your nephew when you need the lyrics

Academics rely on public including charitable funding to undertake research, if they are not funded by Pharma.

The unit of currency in the academic world is the publication.

So when I was a twinkle in my old Prof’s eye the publishing system was different.

You used to have a publishing house and a printing press who produced journals. These would have an academic editor , who had a small team of helpers, for my old boss it was his secretary and they would get send manuscripts from academics for free, they would then send it out to be reviewed for free and it would be printed for free and the publishing house would sell the journals to univeristy libraries. The academic gave them the copyright and they could make money out of selling the rights to your work.

Ah the good old days. Our house rule was we were never allowed to publish in the Bosses Journal. These days people set up journals to publish in….Eh my stuff in MSARDS is all good stuff.:-(. It is all externally reviewed.

Some journals (largely American) got popular, because they were publishing good stuff and so every one would go there. The journals thought hey lets make some more money and do a page charge for the publication. Ker ching… Some got greedy and did a pay per word and made you give the citation in full with all authors mentioned. No wonder they didn’t get many genetic papers with a hundred authors:-) Ker ching Ker ching.

In my old lab the mantra was “you do not pay to publish, use the money for research”. However, the REF came along and you were assessed based on where you published. The most prestigious ones wanted money for publishing. So you got prepared to pay $1,000-$3000 for the pleasure. The Universities would beat up up if you didn’t publish in these types of journals and they knew it. Ker-ching (This the sound of money falling into pockets),

But then came the internet. Now you didn’t need snail mail and you actually didn’t need printed paper, so you could sit on you bum and get the world’s publication to you desk top.

However, if you could get access, so could the general public, but there were paywalls set up by the publishing houses to only give contents to universities. Some bright sparks thought this needed to change

The public have paid for this work, they should be able to see this work too without having to pay for a subscription and the concept of open access was created.

People who were funded by public sources were told they had to publish their papers open access so that the paper was free for all…. or else.

For your outputs to be accessed in the REF they had to be open access. (GOLD is open access from the outset or GREEN was when the paper was put in a repository until and Embargo (6-12 months) set by the journals was lifted. Every university now has a repository for their papers. These had to be deposited 3 months from publication and now three months from acceptence, which is a pain in the bum as you have to fill in forms that would automatically be filled if the work was published.

However, it had not been thought through. Great idea but who was going to pay for this. Well you do.

The publishing houses thought ker ching, not only can we get the authors to pay page pages, they we can get them to pay for open access fee and get the universities to pay for access to the journals. Ker-ching Ker-ching Ker ching. Online was popular as no one needs to go to the library any more . Don’t pay and you can’t access the journals that you have already paid for in the past.

The UK governments said we will give the universities some money to pay for this. Ker Ching. So for every paper an extra $1-5,000 flows into the publishing house, who has now binned their print versions and distribution costs, they have sacked their typsetters and have moved the operations to the Far East ,where they pay peanuts. So they can increase those margins. Ker Ching Ker Ching.

The amount allocated by the government was not enough.

The Charities said yes this a great idea we want all our stuff open access too…but we are’t going to pay for this so the labs have to pay a few thousand for every paper. 10 papers a year is $20,000 and 50 papers is $100,000. You can run a few labs for this sort of cash. Ker ching. I could write a paper a week if someone was paying for the output that is $100,000 for me.

Now times all the scientists around the world and you can see why the publishing houses are loving this and how if can bankrupt a charity if all they are doing is paying for publication because each paper may be a fifth of the consumables budget.

At present the Dutch government for example are committed to ensure all papers go open access. Now it may be a cheap way of lining the pockets of Elsevier- A major dutch publishing house, but this is going to cost them dear and sadly it will be taken out of the research budget and so less research is done. This isn’t going to last it is not sustainable. This is why I choose the Green Open Access approach were possible. I want to use the money for research not to bloat a publishers profit margin.

However the green option is shrinking as many journal are gold or no publication.

However, the journals that were so popular with high impact factors loved by the REF process, have so many papers to choose from they can make an open access journal for the ones rejected. So they can get open access fee for the printed/standard journal and page charges, they can then through the cast-offs down to an open access journal only and we can make more money from the stupid academics who do everything for free and pay for the pleasure.

I was recently rejected by a big joural saying the subject matter wasn’t of interest enough and so they would not send it out to review but they would filter it down to their open-access variant. Ker ching. However with time these open access journal get a high impact factor, so they will then surely create another on-line pay to publish journal and we end up with loads of new journals.

To get into the good journals it helps if you have deep pockets to do endless experiments to dot the i’s and cross the t’s and also to helps to have powerful mates to help with the review process.

If your face doesn’t fit you find it hard to publish. So let’s set up new journals. These days they will be largely open access, which the publishing house can charge for and they get the economy of scale. Ker Ching.

Let’s embrace new journals and this open access stuff and set up a new journal, where academics can go to and we can run it off the open access fee. So lets get a group of well known academics to support it and off we go PLOS journals were formed. They get thousands of papers, but has the submission cost fallen? They are non-profit but their balance sheet ain’t that bad:-(

What a great idea, so lets get our mates onboard to publish and if I agree to get some friends to publish you can be on the editorial board of thousands but they will all have to pay open access charges. This was certainly one invitation I got from the Frontiers media stable.

Then you have faculty of 1000 were the article is published online and peer reviewed after and certainly gets it out there quick. You pay the fee

This open access stuff is so great you don’t even need a publishing house you can just set up a journal in your bedroom, store all the info on a computer, don’t even bother getting the paper reviewed properly just accept any old rubbish and charge the academic a few thousand. They are so cheap they won’t pay to have the journal on pubmed and so you have preditor open access publishing. They are so desparate for content that they will bomb email every one saying please publish here. I and all other academics will waste hours of their times chucking these mails in spam. They are so naff they are not worth toilet paper as far as the REF is concerned

Faculty1000 gets the stuff out there fast. I want the world to know that I have this data, I want it online ASAP in case I get scooped even before it is published or properly reviewed But don’t want.it in Faculty1000as it has no impact factor and so is it good for the REF, So we can put the manuscript out on Bioarchive before it is published, so BioRXiv was born. As preprints, papers hosted on bioRxiv are not peer-reviewed, but undergo basic screening and checked against plagiarism. They may be published years later.

If your work in not original the top journals don’t want it, but for the REF they want you to publish in the top journals. However, some journals have bowed and said they do not consider preprints to be a ‘prior publication’ for purpose of the Ingelfinger rule .

Is this the future of publication? (2 for 1 papers) Many papers get few citations and so perhaps are read properly by the reviewers. They can do a great job, but lets faces it some can also do a rubbish job. However, I do believe that peer review is important. We all make mistakes and miss stuff.

A certain publishing house has said if you want “your information for free go to wikipedia”. I suspect in the not too distant future. Open review by and in the public could be the norm.

Does this mean we will have the never ending article that you have to respond to forever?

However, before implementing any change it needs to be properly thought through. People need to think about the consequences. Too often these initiatives are Ill advised. The preditory open access scam was easy to spot, why were loop holes not closed?

If you want on open, cost-effective publishing model it can be done, but you probably have to pull down the established journal system to best achieve this.

The S plan wants to create a new platform, some publishers have said “F-off”. However, they will adapt and cream the money in. Is the lure of a high impact journal paper more important than the REF? Some didn’t do open access. Do they care what the British Think and Do?. The answer to many is no.

If a BioRXiv links to pubmed you can cut out the middle man, you have instant output and bin the publishing house. (If fact I think I will do a few posts of papers in there because being open access you can read them with no paywall and you could even put comments on them).

The paper would float on its citations as an output and not where it is published. The contenious papers will get public review and the ones that people aren’t interested in won’t get altered. The ones of interest will be cited. You can have your papers in a free repository.

The reading habit has changed we don’t need specialist journals as in yesteryear, we don’t go to libraries, we just need search engines. The downside of lack of journals is that you don’t graze and read other “gold dust” stuff unrelated to your stuff. You could still keep the peer review before going public and keep papers in a repository.

However, would you know where to look for the information…For Neuros they seem to get info from meetings anyway as many don’t have time to read and don’t have the journal açcess.

Core fund the Archive or few archives to stop the monopoly. Allow money going in to publishing houses to be used on research. Loose the Kudos of established journals and the citations of some outputs/papers would plummet as they are frankly unreproducible guff. REF papers would be assessed on content and not where they are published (They say that’s how it is done now, really who’s kidding).

I’m all for it. (Bring down the pubishing system. Anarchy:-)

Will it happen of course… not. Peoplle lack the B to take on the publishing houses.

Then there is the problem of unreviewed nonsense. It would become public record andyou can’t unpublic domain it once it is there. Lawyers don’t read the science they read the words. You say it and it is true and that’s the end of the patent for someone.

Patent lawyers spend ages hunting through meeting abstracts, meeting presentations for stuff people said before the patent was filed.

Academics like to talk and are abit dumb when it comes to this stuff. I once read an academic patent where they referenced a speech/meeting report they had already given on the subject of the patent. Toliet paper springs to mind as the public disclosure stops the patent being valid, at least in the EU. Pharma would have a laugh at this naivity. Just as well it was never going to make any money.

I was involved in a case where it was written in a paper that they looked in the brain and found an alpha integrin and therefore that explained the logic of how nataliumab was selected according to the academic, so when another gene was found in the brain, in the Layers’ mind it meant that a drug against this target would work too. So it was “obvious” and the patent was killed. The case was lost and no drug was developed for you. However, the integrin in the paper was number 18, not number 4 (which natalizumab works on) and remember natalizumab works by stopping cells getting into the brain so the presence of an intregrin in the brain is irrelevant of how the drug works…Lawyers Em.

Maybe I shouldn’t tell you all this stuff, but you indirectly pay for the open access stuff so it is important you understand the publishing process.

About the author

MouseDoctor

6 comments

    • Not familiar with oncotarget which I guess is something cancerwise as for research gate MD2 sticks them straight on Research gate (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ResearchGate-This is a science social media platform for sharing stuff), but the problem is the copyright agreement. This means that they can’t be legally be deposited on such sites without approriate embrargo. MD2 doesn’t give a stuff about this and when challenged we will remove them, but I am aware that people have been threatened with copyright infringment and court over simply putting the paper on-line. If one of publishing houses goes after research gate on copyright infringment it could be the end of researchgate as apparently 50% of papers deposited break the rules. Apparently the court case has started, ome articles have been taken down, they are not complient I think so we will see what happens

      ProfG used to use slideshare to put his talks, but this was bought by LinkedIn and they thought there was copyright issues and locked him out of his own account and so he cant do anything about the stuff that is there. They didn’t take it down so perpetuates the issues they were concerned about. At some point researchgate will monitorise and do the same.BioRxIv will start charging at some point no doubt

      Frankly I can’t be bothered with these sites, I have enough on my plate with the blog, I tend to offer access to most of my papers with links from journals. Researchgate is yet another source of spammy emails and targetted advertising. I get one email every time someone reads a paper on research gate etc etc.

    • Thanks for the link to oncotarget. I would suggest that anyone interested in the paper to have a read of what is expected in the review process.

      Again I have know of abuse of this. In the text it says “Authors may be asked to provide raw data for editorial review and should be prepared to make the data publicly available, if practical”. A paper will be appearing in the next few days where you see this does not go far enough. As soon as it goes online I will report it.

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