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Topic Title: The Academic Spring
Topic Summary: Will the Engineering Institutes Join Up?
Created On: 11 April 2012 06:06 AM
Status: Read Only
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 11 April 2012 06:06 AM
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dvaidr

Posts: 519
Joined: 08 June 2003

The latest 'spring' is the academic spring, which is calling for all research papers to be readily available and free of charge.

I support this.

Will the IET, IMechE etc?

Should the IET, IMechE etc?
 11 April 2012 07:45 AM
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StewartTaylor

Posts: 99
Joined: 18 January 2003

I think it's a matter of some debate whether the material should available free, and probably should vary on a case-by-case basis. Certainly, for taxpayer-funded research the papers should be freely available to citizens of the funding country (at least) and if a charge is made it should ayable to the funding body.

The journals, e.g. Nature group, argue that the charges are necessary to allow them to maintain quality control. It's an interesting argument since I understand little or no payment is made for peer reviews. If Wellcome Trust can make e-life work, it will at least provide an element of competition to keep the print publishers honest.

The other issue that Wellcome appear to be addressing is the ownership of the copyright on the published paper. At present the journals effectively get a monopoly for many years on all papers published. That can't be right.

I'd say that a peer-reviewed e-publishing scheme that leaves copyright with the originator(s) on something like a Creative Commons model would seem to make a lot more sense for the scientific community. It might turn out that it's still necessary to make a charge to cover administrative costs, but that should be nominal.

I could easily imagine that if the Wellcome scheme takes off some of the big universities might set up their own e-publishers, although to have any credibility as regards independent review they'd probably have to work as consortia.

My general answer to your question is yes, in my opinion the engineering institutions should support this initiative, as one that should help to make research information more readily and widely available to potential users.

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Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn't go away.
 11 April 2012 04:25 PM
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dvaidr

Posts: 519
Joined: 08 June 2003

I just remember the times when I've paid £40+ for a paper which didn't enlighten me and consisted of two A4 pages.
 11 April 2012 06:19 PM
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westonpa

Posts: 1771
Joined: 10 October 2007

Originally posted by: dvaidr

I just remember the times when I've paid £40+ for a paper which didn't enlighten me and consisted of two A4 pages.


It's a bit like buying software, once the package is opened it's near impossible to get a refund and yet it's only when we open the package we fully find out if the goods offer what we want. Rather than free more reasonable prices would be a step in the right direction.

Regards.
 13 April 2012 01:21 PM
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danielsmith

Posts: 2
Joined: 02 November 2010

An IET Working Group has just completed a research project on evolving business models in scholarly publishing in the engineering area (including all versions of "Open Access") in conjunction with Outsell Inc, a respected research and advisory firm focused solely on the information industry.

As a result of this exercise (which included surveying 30,000 researchers in academia and industry ), proposals for new IET publications and new business models for its existing journals will shortly be presented to the IET's executive committee.

Recognising that not all potential authors have access to funds to cover article processing charges , the proposals include options both for publishing articles accessible openly from date of publication, and also via the traditional subscription model. For the latter, the IET already enables authors to comply with the mandates of various funding bodies by making available to them versions of their articles for deposit in open-access archives after the agreed "embargo" periods.

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DAniel Smith
Head of Academic Publishing
IET
danielsmith@theiet.org
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