Linking to a must read

I â¥â¥â¥ this essay by Barbara Fister: Washington, We Have a Problem at Library Journal.

 

Go read it.

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In scientific publishing, one of the important things is what is known as the "impact factor" which is the the average number of citations a journal receives over a 2 year period. The impact factor is often used by librarians and researchers to determine which journals to purchase and where to…
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On one side, there are some who say the future of scholarly communication in science is databases - or, rather, more or less shared and curated data sets. Some of the folks in this crowd go farther to say that science is a continuous stream and people should be able to comment on and point to this…
Sometimes so many things come up at the same time it becomes difficult if impossible to ignore. Here's just a brief list: An oceanographer came to me and asked to see a print copy of an AGU journal article. If you've followed me here from elsewhere, then you'll know my place of work was mandated to…

There is more than one fly in the soup of open access publication and one deals with the role that non-profit scientific societies play in publishing science. Generally their journals are among the more reasonably priced, often bargains of price/quality optimalization. Such publications provide libraries with a lot of bang for the subscription buck, but open access fundamentalism threatens to sink these publishers even though they aren't the problem.

In general I agree that the largest part of the problem is not caused by society publishers. There are a few notable exceptions. There are OA fundamentalists - but in case you haven't noticed, I'm not one of them. The linked piece points out some of the faulty reasoning by the OA opponents. Societies publish as a service to their members, science, and society. If they are no longer needed for the publishing function, they still might run reviewer bureaus (bureaux?), conferences, and do other things that they do now. I'm not out to get them, believe me.