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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 thesupraman ( 179040 ) on Wednesday March 27, 2013 @08:09PM (#43298337)

    Lets hope the same editorial board is sool working at a 'new' journal, the Open Journal of Library Administration, available only online/free.
    Wouldnt that be a somewhat simple solution?

    Publishers want to protect 'their' cash cow, but its not theirs to protect. not much of a surprise really.

  • by klapaucjusz ( 1167407 ) on Wednesday March 27, 2013 @08:31PM (#43298489) Homepage

    ...but how do you pay for the Journal?

    What is there to pay for?

    • the authors are academics that are being paid from a grant or by their employer -- they're not being paid by the journal;
    • the authors typeset their paper themselves, using TeX or a word processor;
    • the reviewers are fellow academics, who are not paid by the journal (they're usually anonymous, so they don't even receive kudos for their work);
    • discussion happens mostly over e-mail, which is already paid for.

    So what remains is the salary of the editor and some administrative overhead, which should not be too onerous for even a minor institution.

  • by godrik ( 1287354 ) on Wednesday March 27, 2013 @08:37PM (#43298539)

    That's a good question. I'd say marketing new journals. And I guess paying folks at the publisher which are doing other things (like book publishing).

    It does not seem to go to shareholders as far as I can see.

  • by Joe Decker ( 3806 ) on Wednesday March 27, 2013 @08:42PM (#43298569) Homepage

    Printing, even if it's rarely used, can have significant up-front costs. I'd still like to see an accounting, though.

  • by godrik ( 1287354 ) on Wednesday March 27, 2013 @08:43PM (#43298583)

    This is actually a common things in academic journals. When I publish a paper, I have the "opportunity" of making the paper "open access" by paying some amount of money. It is a fairly standard practice.

  • Re:How Hard? (Score:4, Interesting)

    by jd659 ( 2730387 ) on Wednesday March 27, 2013 @09:02PM (#43298717)

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

    Just have a /. comment voting system where readers/writers can "vote" on the articles. Very quickly there will be a select group of readers providing valid ratings, so give them more mod points. The good articles will bubble up to the top having higher rating. The "prestige" factor will be in having a high rating on such a site. And the karma will improve!

  • by interkin3tic ( 1469267 ) on Wednesday March 27, 2013 @10:46PM (#43299265)
    You forgot "Go to conferences and trade shows and spend a lot to promote the brand."

    At a recent huge research conference, I went to a bar. Didn't know it until I walked in, I was meeting some colleagues there, but it was open bar, paid for by a major journal for researchers to try to woo them into publishing there. I enjoyed the booze, which was paid for by the journal, which got paid from universities and researchers buying back research that they had done, which in turn was paid for (both parts) by grants, which was paid by the taxpayer.

    I was a little sick the next day at that realization. Also the whiskey. And a cold, you'd think thousands of biologists would be better at keeping germs from spreading between themselves.

A committee takes root and grows, it flowers, wilts and dies, scattering the seed from which other committees will bloom. -- Parkinson