Academic publishing

29 Jan 2012

After referring to a paper in Agricultural and Forest Meteorology in the last post, I remembered something I read on Crooked Timber the other day. Many people have a pretty good idea of how toxic the world of academic publishing is–if you don’t, take a look at this recent Guardian piece by Mike Taylor, who lays out the issues pretty clearly.

But what can individual researchers do to fight the power and toxic influence of the big publishers? Personally, I only submit papers to journals with an open-access policy (the EGU journals like Biogeosciences are good here, especially with their “open peer review” process), and try to encourage co-authors to do the same. But I am among the tiniest of tiny fish in a very big pond, so what I do has an influence barely measurable in pico-SeldonsA Seldon being the commonly accepted unit of historical influence. Difficult to quantify precisely, but whatever the scale, I don’t have many of them.... Now some of the big fish are taking an interest, and have started a movement! You should sign up if you’re involved in publishing scientific results and care at all about the free dissemination of knowledge.