Science funders are now getting into the act: Why should people have to pay to read science that has been funded?:
This new initiative, dubbed Plan S, mandates that starting in 2020, academics receiving grants from participating agencies—which include funders in the UK, France, and the Netherlands—must make all scientific articles open access immediately upon publication. The coalition also outlines 10 key principles, such as commitments from funders to help cover publication fees, provide incentives to establish quality open-access journals and publishing platforms, and a promise to sanction those who do not comply with the new rules. Since September, two additional national funders and three charitable foundations—the Wellcome Trust in the UK, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation in the US, and Riksbankens Jubileumsfond in Sweden—have joined the coalition.
Overdue. But note:
In early November, more than 600 researchers signed a different open letter—this one criticizing the plan for being “unfair for scientists” and “too risky for science in general.” The letter states that Plan S is a “serious violation of academic freedom,” and outlined several specific problems the academics have with the plan, including a ban on many valuable journals, the possible risk to international collaboration if funders in others parts of the world did not adopt a similar policy, and the potential for the cost of scholarly dissemination to increase under a model focused on “gold” open access, in which authors pay article processing charges (APCs)—sometimes in the thousands of dollars—for individual papers.Diana Kwon, “Plan S: The Ambitious Initiative to End the Reign of Paywalls” at The Scientist
It’s hard to see why all these problems cannot be addressed without limiting public access. Simply include foreseen/foreseeable costs while fundraising. If we know it will cost $1500 to process something, it’s a line item in our budget. If we think our research won’t get published anyway and therefore publishing costs shouldn’t be a line item in the budget, why are we doing the research?
File under: Change long overdue
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See also: Surprise: Science thrives when people can admit they didn’t prove something
What can a huge retractions database teach us? Overall, improved vigilance has slowed the trend, but key problems remain, including manipulated images. If a picture is worth a thousand words, that’s about three to five paragraphs of falsehood.