There are politicians everywhere. These guys find ten reasons to modify only slightly a bad thing, preaching this incremental improvement to satisfy some of us and winking to those happy to not change. These guys who find ten blends for each incremental change and they speak politely and technically with fellow politicians about which of these homeopathic differences will make a difference. Knowing very well that that’s the way to make no difference. They are the product of the rotten old habits and they will delay the change until they retire. Fuck the rest!
Same in open access. How many blends of open access there are? It is unbelievable that there is anybody, excepting those with a (conflict of) interest(s) in it, who believe that Gold OA is anything else than a stupid idea. Dress it as you wish, but it is still the idea to take money from the authors, for doing nothing, because anyways you can’t take money from the readers anymore. Still, if you don’t know, there are blends and blends and blends of Gold OA, and politicians discuss at length which are the relative advances and why we can’t change fast this useless publication service.
Why can’t we change it? Because of the politicians from the academic management. How will they avoid being accountable for their decisions if they can’t hide behind numbers? Again, people can’t be that stupid when they pretend that the number of articles and the place they appear are relevant. So there has to be something else: hidden interest. They are the product of the system. To say that, because under publishers locks, their life work is as good as crap, is offending to them. They made bad choices and they want to impose them on you.
It is a society effect. The bosses are in conflict of interests or straightly corrupt. So they invent rules for you, rules which they change from time to time, but every time they avoid to look at the root of evil. Which is: they are and they try to transform you, researcher, passionate student, into a interchangeable unit of thinking person. They are dust and they want to transform you into dust.
It happened before. Favourite example: the painter artists in France, before the impressionist revolution, read here more about this comparison. Were they stupid to fight for the number of paintings accepted in academic exhibitions or the HEIGHT where the paintings were put during those exhibitions? No, the products of the system who were at the lead were interested and the rest were forced by the choice between their passion and their career.
So, say NO to politicians.
Live your passion.
Just to prove that I am not a hot head who writes hot air, I say that I did. My first paper on arXiv was in 2001. Since then I put almost everything there and I refuse, if possible, to publish elsewhere because I don’t want to support the system. Of course I am not crazy to impose my beliefs to co-authors, but still in these cases I try to use arXiv as well.
I told a bit about the effects of this choice on my career.
What I think now.
That OA is already old thing.
That discussions about who has the copyright are sterile at best (and interested possibly), because it is clear that DRM trumps the licence, see Use DRM for academics, enjoy watching them fight for the copyright.
So, please tell, what are you discussing about?
Now I think that the article format will change and this is a part of an ongoing revolution which went unnoticed by the politicians who live around OA. It’s Github, already 20 times bigger than arXiv (I give the example of arXiv because is greatest in OA, in my opinion, and because I’m familiar with it; however, look at this wonder of Github).
That is why I support and will use PeerJ/paper-now, read this.
As concerns publishers, I don’t wish they disappear, once because it’s not my problem and twice because it’s obvious we can reuse their infrastructure.
Is not good to wish bad things to people (except to politicians, maybe).
But it is obvious that not publishing is the service which has value. Peer-review is needed, pre- and post- publication. What they could do is to propose the service of organizing this peer-review.
Another, related and perhaps bigger opportunity is the management of scientific data, be them articles, experimental data, programs. This is related to the idea of running the article in the browser, sometime soon. This needs an infrastructure which, no! publisher, don’t try again, an infrastructure which is not based on artificial scarcity, but on overwhelming abundance.
Otherwise I’m good, thank you and I am still looking for people with enough guts and funds to make big things, like molecular computers, changing the IoT, understanding life, i.e. the chemlambda project.