SansBlogue  
Friday, April 11, 2008
  Nichthus and Open AccessScholarship
Nichthus was kind enough to reply to my post, replying to his post, with a post. So, at long last because a refugee camp was not the ideal place to formulate a good reply, here is my reply to his reply to my reply.

His concern, reflected in the title "Can we have the cake, and eat it too?" basically seems to be that "open" scholarship does not generate income, and so leaches on the work of others.

I have dealt with some of these broader questions in earlier posts like:
But my post was concerned not with the whole Education 2.0/Open Scholarship field (or in view of the ill defined, and indeed unbounded, nature of these expressions perhaps "worlds") but with the particular case of scholarly publishing. And even perhaps within that of the scholarly journal. There Nichthus' examples, like big budget movies, are simply not appropriate.

Nick Montfort on Grand Text Auto recently made several of the points that I'd make in reply to Nichthus:
Scholarly and scientific journals differ from many other sorts of publications. Authors are not paid - in some cases, they pay in the form of per-article fees or fees for color illustrations and extra content. Articles are reviewed by other academics who determine if they should be published; these reviewers are also not paid. The work that people do as researchers, writers, and reviewers is effectively subsidized by whatever institution supports these people as faculty, staff, or students. In the case of pay-for-access journals, the same institutions that indirectly pay for important labor on a journal also must pay the for-profit company that runs the journal in order to gain exclusive access (that is, access not available to the public) to the final outcome. This access doesn’t typically come in the form of a print journal these days, of course.

This process is one that I characterize as anti-publication.
I like it! Traditional "for profit" scholarly articles and books are not "publications", but "anti-publications" since they artificially limit their readership.

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