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Publications in computer sciences: use arXiv!

Publications in computer sciences: use arXiv!

Posted Aug 1, 2010 2:19 UTC (Sun) by bokr (subscriber, #58369)
In reply to: Publications in computer sciences: use arXiv! by danielpf
Parent article: Realtime Linux: academia v. reality

"Paywalls" such as at the IEEE exist, IMO, because someone
is looking at this kind of publishing as selling a product
to consumers, with ordinary business thinking about how to
pay costs of the product, as if a technical paper were only
an entertainment for people with special tastes.

I argue that a penniless student with the intelligence, interest,
and desire to understand -- i.e., who has this special taste --
actually has the most valuable coin with which to "pay" for his
copy: his attention-time (especially golden if passion-driven).

It is therefore sad to see copyright used to milk a little revenue
from an intellectual seeding process, for apparent lack of fund-raising
imagination or appreciation for the value to the country of
free and open information.

Such use of copyright goes directly against the stated goal
of the Constitution when it empowered Congress to make laws
"To promote the Progress of Science and useful Arts..." (which
gave us copyright and patent laws, per Article 1, Section 8).

I don't see information paywalls as promoting any science or art.
Tuition is another form of the same.

OTOH, I do understand that lwn is not yet funded by a peer-petitioned
grant through the Library of Congress (for recognition as a valued
independent implementer of many LOC goals), so I subscribe ;-)


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don't ascribe to malice....

Posted Aug 1, 2010 2:51 UTC (Sun) by dlang (subscriber, #313) [Link]

the standard quote isn't directly relevant to this situation, but it's close.

I don't think the requirements to use the research paper publishers are due to malice, I think it's inertia.

In the days before the Internet, publishing was a very expensive thing to do, In such an environment an organization dedicated to separating the wheat from the chaff and publishing the wheat was an incredibly valuable service to provide.

Over the years, as the organization providing this service was able to make a profit from publishing things, and the cost of publishing has dropped, I think they have become less critical about what they publish, and so their value as a filter for 'the good stuff' has been dropping.

With the cost of publishing now almost zero, there would still be value in the service of evaluating papers to find the good ones, but I don't think any of the research publishers are really providing that service effectively anymore.

As such, I think that publishing the papers in a place where Google can find them (and apply the pagerank type algorithm to them) is at least as effective an indication of the probably quality of the papers.

It would be good if the various industry organizations would recognize this and make all the papers available, and provide a service for their members by reading everything they can and provide feedback to the author and quality scores for their members (along with indexing services to help their members find things)

I think that simply the process having a lot of people reading disparate documents would be valuable as the readers would be able to spot things across the different documents that the authors of the documents themselves are unaware of.

peer reviews

Posted Aug 1, 2010 18:10 UTC (Sun) by marcH (subscriber, #57642) [Link]

> With the cost of publishing now almost zero, there would still be value in the service of evaluating papers to find the good ones, but I don't think any of the research publishers are really providing that service effectively anymore.

Yet career progression still depends on this service. It is not clear to me how this could be replaced by PageRank.

peer reviews

Posted Aug 1, 2010 21:26 UTC (Sun) by dlang (subscriber, #313) [Link]

it could be changed to be based on the number of citations of your papers by other papers (which is arguably a better indication of your works worth than simply the number of papers published)

but if you want to count the papers published, that's pretty simple to do, even without the current publishing companies, simply document what you've published.

this doesn't include information about how good the papers are, but I have my doubts about the existing publishers really doing that anyway.

peer reviews

Posted Aug 1, 2010 21:27 UTC (Sun) by dlang (subscriber, #313) [Link]

if you really need to hae things reviewed, it would be better to have a system where the person submiting the paper pays to have it reviewed rather than the current system where readers have to pay for access to it.

peer reviews

Posted Aug 1, 2010 23:27 UTC (Sun) by corbet (editor, #1) [Link]

Actually, much peer-reviewed publishing has "page charges" to be paid by the author(s) (or their institution). The publishing industry does its best to collect from everybody involved.

peer reviews

Posted Aug 1, 2010 23:45 UTC (Sun) by dlang (subscriber, #313) [Link]

how much, if any, of this money gets to the people doing the reviews?

peer reviews

Posted Aug 1, 2010 23:47 UTC (Sun) by corbet (editor, #1) [Link]

Zero.

peer reviews

Posted Aug 2, 2010 0:24 UTC (Mon) by dlang (subscriber, #313) [Link]

what I expected, so it sounds like there should be room for someone to setup something new in this space.

one problem is figuring out how to minimize abuse, but the bigger problem is getting academia to accept it.

University libraries

Posted Aug 2, 2010 2:53 UTC (Mon) by dmarti (subscriber, #11625) [Link]

Professors who contribute to non-Open-Access journals are likely to get the stink eye from the librarian every time they walk in the university library. Library budgets are getting clobbered by increasing subscription prices, as the publishers sell university's own work back to it.

Background: Open Access Overview

If you're in the USA, please support the Federal Research Public Access Act -- this would at least stop the abuses where federally-funded research is concerned.


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