On BioScience and Life and Such

A Three Stage Program to Become an Open Access Fundamentalist

In Uncategorized on November 13, 2008 at 2:51 pm

post to news.thinkgene.com

I must admit that I am not a fundamentalist myself, nor am I sure I will ever become one. But I try to advocate open access, and as much as possible I follow the first two steps below. In addition, I have set up a free site for anyone to publish according to step 3 which is sciphu.com (but any site will do…..ideally one using widely accepted publication identifiers – sciphu.com isn’t…yet).

Following the recommendations in step 1 and 2 makes you a supporter and Open Access activist. Following recommendations in step 3 will make you a full-fledged Open Access Fundamentalist…….

1. Supporter stage. Openly support initiatives like PloS and contribute to activities like Open Access day.

2. Activist stage.

a) Publish in Open Access journals as much as possible.

b) Mail authors for reprints. Whenever you need an article published in a pay-for-access journal, write to the corresponding author asking for a reprint. Even if you have access through your institutional subscription (or get it through friends and colleagues), write the author to notify him/her that the paper is not open access. This increases awareness….

3. Fundamentalist stage. Send in your paper to be peer reviewed like you normally would (preferably to a pay-for-access journal). Receive your reviewer comments, edit according to those comments, but do not send your manuscript back to the journal. Rather, publish on freely accessible web page. Include the peer-reviews if you want, but clear this with the reviewers first.

Image by asher taken from Elephantitis of the mind

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  1. Unfortunately, you are giving extremely bad advice.

    Your “Fundamentalist” Stage 3 would simply destroy journals as well as peer review.

    And you leave out the most important “Stage” (and the only one really worth mentioning at all):

    Send in your paper to be peer reviewed as you normally would (to whatever is the best journal for your work). Receive your reviewer comments, edit according to those comments, send your manuscript back to the journal. As soon as it is accepted, deposited into your Institutional Repository to make it Open Access.

    This is called “Green OA” and it is a complement to conventional peer-reviewed publication, not a substitute for it.

  2. Stevan. I agree that I should not have left out Green OA, thank you for pointing that out.

    “Unfortunately, you are giving extremely bad advice”

    This post is not really meant as advice, since as you say

    “Stage 3 would simply destroy journals as well as peer review”

    Hence the term “fundamentalist”. I am trying to illustrate that scientific publishing urgently needs to adapt to a web-interactive-reality.

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