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RE: Call for quick action: Elsevier trying to restrict open access to US-government-funded research!



I wrote:
<I think it takes some mighty big cahones to tell a corporation that 
they cannot charge access for the work they publish on their own dime. 
This is especially important when you consider these journals do not 
charge submission or review fees, making the process of _getting 
published_ easier.>

Heinrich replied:
<<Strawman argument: nobody says Elsevier has to publish for free.>>

  Note that all portions of access to an Elsevier journal cost money: Personal 
or public subscription, photocopying from said paper subscriptions, or digital 
access. Each of these maintains a source of income for the publisher. It 
doesn't matter here the actual production costs versus income gained here, or 
who has to pay the money to gain access or how much.

  I sent the following privately to Heinrich, but realize it works better 
public:

  "There was a workaround available that would likely have made it so that 
Elsevier wouldn't be involved, but it would have hurt availability and 
interest: the scientists would have to have published in journals that enabled 
open access, no costs or cost-covered publication, or where portions of their 
funds were paid to permanently unlock the articles for the foreseeable future. 
This, however, becomes expensive."

Heinrich writes:
<<It just says that scientists should publish elsewhere, where the access is 
open.>>

  That's my point. This is economics: Elsevier offers a service, which is in 
this case notoriety through "impact" in which journal you submit to and, 
effectively, costless submission; they argue that to have this, they can charge 
the demanding public what they want to; the public pays what is demanded; 
Elsevier pockets this value. Because the public does not turn its nose at this 
service at this cost, Elsevier are able to maintain, rather then reduce the 
cost or discontinue the service; they may also increase the cost, and if the 
product is being purchased at that higher cost without rejection or drawdown, 
this cost becomes justifiable. People are _not_ looking elsewhere. How then 
does one countenance the process is evil when they continue using it? The only 
option there is when it is the _only_ game in town, to which the access to 
publication is held in a monopoly; in this case, one simply has no choice and 
must comply, else perish. Given we are an international community, this is 
certainly not the case.

  It should be noted that its previous incarnation (2011 HR 801, 
http://www.opencongress.org/bill/111-h801/show) didn't get out of committee. 
But also note that sponsors are not limited to Elsevier. Wiley and AAP are also 
supporters, among others, being publishers who will all be potentially 
negatively affected by the ability to charge for access to their publications 
for this. This is not about individual right to a paper, but about the 
publication as a whole. 

Cheers,

  Jaime A. Headden
  The Bite Stuff (site v2)
  http://qilong.wordpress.com/

"Innocent, unbiased observation is a myth." --- P.B. Medawar (1969)


"Ever since man first left his cave and met a stranger with a
different language and a new way of looking at things, the human race
has had a dream: to kill him, so we don't have to learn his language or
his new way of looking at things." --- Zapp Brannigan (Beast With a Billion 
Backs)


----------------------------------------
> Date: Wed, 11 Jan 2012 13:29:56 +0100
> Subject: Re: Call for quick action: Elsevier trying to restrict open access 
> to US-government-funded research!
> From: heinrich.mallison@googlemail.com
> To: qi_leong@hotmail.com
> CC: david.marjanovic@gmx.at; Dinosaur.Mailing.List@listproc.usc.edu
>
> On Wed, Jan 11, 2012 at 1:27 PM, Jaime Headden  wrote:
>
> >
> >   I think it takes some mighty big cahones to tell a corporation that they 
> > cannot charge access for the work they publish on their own dime. This is 
> > especially important when you consider these journals do not charge 
> > submission or review fees, making the process of _getting published_ easier.
>
> Strawman argument: nobody says Elsevier has to publish for free. It
> just says that scientists should publish elsewhere, where the access
> is open.