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Library Journal Board Resigns On "Crisis of Conscience" After Swartz Death 128

c0lo writes "The editor-in-chief and entire editorial board of the Journal of Library Administration announced their resignation last week, citing 'a crisis of conscience about publishing in a journal that was not open access' in the days after the death of Aaron Swartz. The board had worked with publisher Taylor & Francis on an open-access compromise in the months since, which would allow the journal to release articles without paywall, but Taylor & Francis' final terms asked contributors to pay $2,995 for each open-access article. As more and more contributors began to object, the board ultimately found the terms unworkable. The journal's editor-in-chief said 'After much discussion, the only alternative presented by Taylor & Francis tied a less restrictive license to a $2995 per article fee to be paid by the author. As you know, this is not a viable licensing option for authors from the LIS community who are generally not conducting research under large grants.'"
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Library Journal Board Resigns On "Crisis of Conscience" After Swartz Death

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  • by girlintraining (1395911) on Wednesday March 27, 2013 @07:00PM (#43298273)

    Thank you for standing up for what you believe in, guys! Commencing replacement with yes-men who will heed the siren call of their corporate profiteering overlords in 5...4...3...

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday March 27, 2013 @07:14PM (#43298375)

    I understand that you need some quality control and facilitate peer review and whatnot, but is there really no way to make that work in some way that doesn't involve these journals/publishers?

  • Unreasonable (Score:5, Insightful)

    by puddingebola (2036796) on Wednesday March 27, 2013 @07:29PM (#43298479) Journal
    Why did they only make it $2995? Why didn't they make it $190,000 and a free ride in a helicopter to Disneyworld? Ask for the real money. On the other hand, they did come in under $3000, which the Ronco corporation knew was the key to selling lots of Ginsu knives. Only $19.95.
  • Re:How Hard? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by WillAdams (45638) on Wednesday March 27, 2013 @07:29PM (#43298481) Homepage

    The hard part when anyone can publish anything is finding something worth reading.

  • by Dr. Spork (142693) on Wednesday March 27, 2013 @07:30PM (#43298485)
    Um, it doesn't take a genius to see that you're not exactly making a great offer: "Our journal will publish your article into the public domain! Now fork out $3000 for the privilege!" I don't think board needed many reasons of conscience to resign. They were probably more like: "Hey, let's stop working for these idiots!"
  • by MichaelSmith (789609) on Wednesday March 27, 2013 @07:31PM (#43298487) Homepage Journal

    Thats a fair point. So where is the money going?

  • by godrik (1287354) on Wednesday March 27, 2013 @07:42PM (#43298571)

    There certainly are ways to do that. But it would require the community to move away from them. As a recently hired assistant professor, my tenure will be evaluated partially based on my publication track in "good journals". So I will publish wherever my tenure commitee believe is good. Currently this happens to be where publishers are.

  • by blind biker (1066130) on Wednesday March 27, 2013 @07:49PM (#43298613) Journal

    The only thing the publisher provide now a days is grammar check and spell check

    As a researcher who has read hundreds, possibly thousands of journal articles, I say bollocks. Maybe Nature Publishing Group journals do a thorough spelling and grammar check, but all the others (in the field of chemistry, materials science and nanotechnology at least) do not.

  • Wait what? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Arancaytar (966377) <> on Wednesday March 27, 2013 @08:20PM (#43298827) Homepage

    So scientists give their work to a journal for publication, and have to pay to get more favorable license terms?

    I knew that scientific publication is a strange world, but this seems somewhat preposterous.

  • Re:Blows my mind (Score:5, Insightful)

    by femtobyte (710429) on Wednesday March 27, 2013 @09:14PM (#43299113)

    When the taxpayers have already funded research, what's the justification for not having that research available to anybody and everybody?

    Because money money money money mine mine mine mine.

    If you have any other questions about justification for dubious acts under Capitalism, please refer to the above subtle and nuanced explanation.

  • by Strange Attractor (18957) on Wednesday March 27, 2013 @09:36PM (#43299217) Homepage

    I took a look at to remind myself about how CRC press treated Eric W. Weisstein (creator of MathWorld). CRC press is a division of Taylor and Francis. Whenever I get a request to referee for a Taylor and Francis publication, I decline and point the editor at the MathWorld story.

    Don't do business with Taylor and Francis.

  • by Okian Warrior (537106) on Wednesday March 27, 2013 @10:11PM (#43299399) Homepage Journal

    So, here's the other reason to force people to pay to submit to the journal. This weeds out the cranks and trolls...

    While this seems reasonable, I would like to point out that:

    1) Cranks and trolls are not a problem in academic publishing, it never was a problem, and it isn't expected to be a problem in the future.

    2) Cranks and Trolls are well filtered by other aspects of the system. Few cranks and trolls have PHDs, teach at uni, or are working under a grant. Those that manage to overcome these barriers and are easily dealt with on a case-by-case basis.

    3) By switching to a "pay to publish" model, your filter is targeting cash-poor researchers, not cranks. Corporations could afford to have their studies published, which would skew overall trends. Drug companies, tobacco companies, and oil companies would have a competitive edge over a uni or grant researcher.

    Once we accept that getting rid of the trolls has value to the author, the question is ...

    4) You are an astroturfer - a paid shill trying to sway the collective opinion by hand-waving and solipsism.

    This is Slashdot. We're smarter than that.

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