There were also quite a few comments to the effect that the article was self-serving given Nature’s business interests. That completely ignores the overall balance of Nature’s coverage, which in my opinion is broadly supportive of open access even though Nature itself charges subscription fees. The calls for a disclosure of competing interests sound reasonable to me if there really is a danger that any reader might not notice the link. But in that case let’s also have them on all those PLoS editorials espousing open access.
So, everyone can go home now. The show is over. Nature’s “financial analysis” of Open Access PLoS and scathing commentary attempting to demonstrate that PLoS is a failure was just a routine bit of objective journalism.
At least according to this source. Which is…..
…. Timo Hannay, writing for Nascent, Nature’s bog on technology and science.
Hmmm…. I’m going to call foul on this one. Sorry, Timo ol’ boy. You simply are not standing in a position to make this argument credible, and in fact, your effort to make the argument is rather Orwellian.
Timo-baby does make the argument that Nature is not entirely anti Open-Access, and that may be true, a little. Nature has written about this topic from a number of different perspectives, as it should. But Timo takes that fact too far when he suggests that Butler’s piece is just another objective bit of coverage. It is not. Or, if it was, it was so badly done that everyone who reads it, almost, is rather astonished at its self (self = Nature Publishing Group) serving form and content.
And Timo, my boy, while you are working on that, please try not to be such a shit. Your attitude especially rakes audiences in America, Europe, the Middle East, all those places your self serving grand-daddy colonialists settled and mettled for so long. Don’t give us “Declan isn’t anti-open access either. But like me, he’s a realist….” That sort of condescending “let me tell you what is real” crap does not constitute a valid argument, does not serve to advance productive dialog.
And don’t give PLoS any dignity why don’t ya:
PLoS’s original goal wasn’t to show that author-pays publishing can be made to work for low-end journals. (By “low-end” I mean relatively low rejection rate and low editorial input. I don’t intend it to mean “beneath contempt” or anything similarly pejorative – these journals have an important place in the overall mix.)
With these words, you semi-officially declare PLoS to be the nigger of the publishing world. Do you get that? No, probably not. The old grip on reality here may be a little lose. E.g.:
The idea that commercial publishers are inherently evil lingers on. I can understand why, but it’s completely untrue.
Timo, my friend, the corporate entity is inherently evil, do you not know this? We live with the reality when we need to. But only the truly brainwashed do not see this. Yourself for example. You don’t see this. (Which, by the way, I do not believe for a second.)
Timo ends his fawning pawning anti-OpenAccess longing with this:
To look on the bright side, none of this may matter very much in the longer run since truly widespread open access to scientific content is coming about through funder-mandated archiving, not open-access publishing. Nevertheless, the ironies and misunderstandings are just too stark to pass them by without comment.