If you’re doing a startup in this space and want to reach out, please contact me. I live in SF and would happily take you out for coffee or meet up for a beer. My contact details are on my HN profile.
SAGE is a 100% family owned business. My grandmother is chairwoman, my dad and I are on the board. I'm a coder working in an unrelated startup for my day job, living in SF. We’re not dinosaurs trying to bleed the system dry until our business model collapses, but at the same time I wholeheartedly acknowledge the fundamentals of the journals business are antiquated and I believe they will radically change eventually. Academia is incredibly complicated and moves at a glacial pace.
So if you’re interested in seeing the world of academic journals from the inside, please get in touch. I can get you in contact with anyone in the SAGE organization at every level.
I have spent a fair amount of time over the past couple of years talking to Doug and others at Sage about the future of academic publishing. I've always enjoyed the conversations, and they have always been open to hearing my radical views :)
(I'm the founder of Academia.edu).
You can try to make parallels to the record industry at its worse, but those people at least receive advances.
And with journal publishing, it's not some random niche. This is where "new knowledge" becomes validated. You're not hearing talking heads on television mentioning some new thing mentioned in a first year college textbook – instead you hear "a new study published in the New England Journal of Medicine."
Scholars need to and are adopting ways to take scholarly communication into their own hands. A sociology journal called Sociological Science, with an editorial board out of Stanford and Cornell has recently made a buzz by taking the process into their own hands: http://www.gsb.stanford.edu/news/headlines/group-sociologist...
(Full disclosure: this is a problem my startup works on)
In AI, two of the top journals are now open-access and run on a shoestring budget by academics, so also don't have any publication charges: http://jmlr.org http://jair.org
Here was the 2001 letter that kicked off JMLR: http://jmlr.org/statement.html
Why do we even need the dated journal model? Push everything to a central arXiv, biorXiv like repo (funded as they are by small donations from institutions). Couple this with open post-publication peer review and endorsements. Millions of tax dollars saved around the world, research open to everyone.
The counter argument is the rubber stamp that accompanies a prestigious journal (and filtering the crazies) but if the repo was accompanied with a suitable array of article-level metrics and thorough categorisation the good science can continue to filter to the top, much like how HN and reddit work.
One that comes to mind, not coincidentally, is also in the academic world: College sports.
Perhaps both are due to the same cause, the misalignment of academic and market values: Academia is not profit-oriented; money is not their priority. When they generate something of financial value (journal articles or football games), someone naturally jumps in (journal publishers, TV networks, NCAA), charges market prices for it, gives the academics producing it (faculty or student-athletes) the wages of academia (fame, status and pride), and keeps the cash for themselves.
 Next time someone tells you the free market is the one and only god that solves all problems and anything else is 'socialist', consider the many things that aren't market-oriented: Almost everything ever produced by academia, from relativity to the double helix to the Rise and Fall of the Roman Empire; the Internet, World Wide Web, email, LAMP, etc.; the U.S. Constitution, the work of Gandhi and MLK; everything every soldier has accomplished ...
Ironically, it also has the same bullshit lofty wording around why this is ok. I think this combination of research + vocational school + sport is going to have this kind of problem.
Every online company relying on user generated content?
One of those may lighten your mood for the day, the other of those advances civilization and the human condition as a whole.
Also, recording artists don't receive taxpayer money.
The "conglomerates make most of the profit" applies to most every content industry, music, movies, even fine art. Most of the money is made in controlling distribution. A few percentage points of the very top artists make crap loads. The other 99.x% is poorly compensated and routinely exploited.
Academics tend to cite papers for completely different reasons than for implementation, but you don't know if a paper will be useful for implementation or not from the title.
edit: and I couldn't find an option in scholar.google.com to filter only the free to view articles.
Some online resources I quite like for this:
http://www.reddit.com/r/scholar - paper requests fulfilled by people who happen to have access
http://www.libgen.org/ - large collection of scientific articles (and other literature), searchable by DOI
http://www.sci-hub.org/ - proxy service for accessing publisher collections; very unreliable though
Hope this helps with your research!
"We will begin billing your Payment Method for monthly membership fees at the end of the free trial period of your membership unless you cancel prior to the end of the free trial period". I guess I will not sign up.
That gives you free "5 minute rentals", which are designed to let you decide if you want to actually rent a given article. If you decide to rent some articles, and so need to pay for that, you'll then have to give payment information, of course.
The rentals are for 30 days, and are sold in packs of 5 rentals for $20. Yes, free would be better, but compared to the alternative of paying $20-40 per article to buy single article access from major journals, DeepDyve looks like a great bargain for the researcher who does not have access to a university library.
The Freelancer Plan is a free plan with the option to purchase $20 packs which allows you to rent any 5 articles for up to 1 year from the start of the plan. Once an article has been rented, it can be read as often as you like until its expiration in 30 days. Any pre-paid rentals that remain unused after 1 year will become void.
The Professional Plan is $40 per month and entitles you to "virtually" unlimited rentals each month, i.e. you can rent up to 40 articles per month and/or purchase and download up to 40 PDFs per month for a 20% discount. If you need even more access, please contact us because you are extraordinary!
5-minute rentals are a great way to scan through any rentable article, for free. You get to read the complete full-text of an article in your browser for 5 minutes.
You can do as many 5-minute rentals as you want for free-- just not the same article twice in the same day. Rental tokens are available for unlimited rental access to the articles for 30 days.
Copying, printing, and downloading aren't included with 5-minute rentals.
(disclaimer: my employer)
The professors write and edit and referee the papers for free.
Then, that research is copyrighted and owned by a corporation, who is allowed to extract economic rent by charging for access.
Professors have to publish in the top journals (owned by these corporations), because that's how they advance their careers.
BUT, if all the professors switched AT THE SAME TIME, it would work. If you're the only professor who switches, you're just ruining your own career.
However, I would just like to say that I am very happy to see Timothy Gowers is still on this case.
2. Make it mandatory for publicly-funded scientists to enter their data into said databases
3. Let them publish all their introductions and discussions to whichever ancient publishing house they want
4. do good science
However, to "make it mandatory for publicly-funded ..." is the difficult part. I'm with you 100% (I'm a neuroscience PhD) and this needs to happen,but it needs to come from the financial groups such as NIH/NSF who really just aren't good at dealing with this kind of stuff. They do make it mandatory, but they don't provide real resources for scientists to access these tools. Either that, or they are insanely difficult to use, so people don't do it.
I'm shooting for getting raw data from scientists, populating a huge f'in database that is linked and categorized, and if/when the group makes the data open, allow scientists to work off of that huge database of raw, unedited data. (this is specific to life sciences)
I've learned the following when talking about my company:
1. Investors don't want to hear about open science because they immediately get stuck on "what if they don't share". That tends to end the conversation.
2. Scientists themselves complain about the system, but are unwilling to change behaviors. So we have to address their fears in order to start making change (that is what I'm working on now)
3. Schools and funding agencies are using technology from 1996 and thinking that is sufficient. People need to be educated, and this is hard to do.
This isn't impossible and it's happening slowly...the mindset of academics just needs to change. (IMHO)
p.s. coincidence - i 'm doing a compneuro PhD myself
Cool, best of luck:) If you ever want to work on something outside of academic work, let me know. I'm always looking for people to work on Stirplate with me. Also,I'm always happy to help people getting started, so feel free to reach out if you have any questions keith @ stirplate.io
The NIH now requires you to include the PMC ID number on any reference you cite in a grant, so they're more or less forcing people to comply, after years of asking, pleading, and begging.
Practically speaking, papers probably won't look substantially different under your proposal than they do now, except that there is the extra step of uploading data to the "methods and data" database. Separating the body of the paper from the results and methods would be a pain in the ass to read, which means that you'll need to continue to include those things if you want anyone to cite your papers. As a result, I can't see anyone doing anything more than having an undergrad copy and paste the relevant sections into the database.
Frankly, I think you'd get better results by just declaring that the publishers have to give non-institutional readers free access.
But as long as your chance to get a job in academia is proportional to (number of publications * exp(nobleness of journals)), most scientists will just continue playing the same game, and publishers will continue exploiting them.
[O]nly 1,000 new works appeared annually in England [during the Enlightenment] -- 10 times fewer than in Germany -- and this was not without consequences. Höffner believes it was the chronically weak book market that caused England, the colonial power, to fritter away its head start within the span of a century, while the underdeveloped agrarian state of Germany caught up rapidly, becoming an equally developed industrial nation by 1900.
Even more startling is the factor Höffner believes caused this development -- in his view, it was none other than copyright law, which was established early in Great Britain, in 1710, that crippled the world of knowledge in the United Kingdom.
Germany, on the other hand, didn't bother with the concept of copyright for a long time. Prussia, then by far Germany's biggest state, introduced a copyright law in 1837, but Germany's continued division into small states meant that it was hardly possible to enforce the law throughout the empire.
I've posted a few more thoughts (and more on copyright) here: http://redd.it/23xrkd
It was quite a bit easier while CiteSeer still worked, and before Google started indexing stuff behind paywalls. Usually it was easy to find a draft or pre-print.
It describes a new dissemination model where journals are entirely dismissed (including open access), in favor of a true peer-to-peer network, open reviews, guaranteed timestamps, and free access to articles.
Hopefully the full text of the article will be online as the workshop date comes close...