[linux-elitists] Science Journals Suck (fwd)

Jay Sulzberger jays@panix.com
Wed Jul 4 00:33:57 PDT 2001

On Tue, 3 Jul 2001, Eugene Leitl wrote:

> -- Eugen* Leitl <a href="http://www.lrz.de/~ui22204/">leitl</a>
> ______________________________________________________________
> ICBMTO  : N48 10'07'' E011 33'53'' http://www.lrz.de/~ui22204
> 57F9CFD3: ED90 0433 EB74 E4A9 537F CFF5 86E7 629B 57F9 CFD3
> ---------- Forwarded message ----------
> Date: Mon, 2 Jul 2001 17:06:46 -0500
> From: Robert Buntrock <buntrock2@earthlink.net>
> Subject: Re: [linux-elitists] Science Journals Suck (fwd)
> We know from previous messages that many contributors to this list have
> some rather strong opinions about several issues of interest.  However,
> many of us don't necessarily appreciate the profane and otherwise
> obnoxious language in this forwarded note.  In addition, although we
> know where Eugene Leitl is and presumably what he does, we have no idea
> who Rusty Foster is or whether he has any basis for his strongly held
> opinions.
> That having been said, I also question the wisdom of much of the
> forwarded response.  Where doe these dissenters suggest that we find
> "reputable people to agree to referee these alternative journal
> articles?  Since all of these should be done as "cheaply as possible",
> will this influence who we get, how good a job they'll do, or how long
> they'll be willing to do it?  Although I don't like overpaying for
> anything either, my family also has a saying, "Buy cheap, get cheap".
> Is Rusty Foster volunteering?  Do we want him to?
> Although the analogy is a little strained, who's going to bell the cat?
> -- Bob Buntrock
> Buntrock Associates, Inc.
> (opinions mine, and also strongly held)

Referees are not paid today.  Authors are not paid today, at least not
directly, for articles.  Scholars who publish in scholarly journals,
mostly do not live in Grub Street.  The academic publishers have had an
incredible decades long free ride, simply because no academic librarian
thinks in terms of bargaining with vendors of books.  If twenty years ago
one single head librarian at any university in the Western world had said
"Look, these prices are ridiculous.  Unless you offer your journals at a
reasonable price over the cost of production, we simply will not
subscribe." a market would have been created, and academic publishers
would now be subject to, if not the bondage and discipline of that old
traditional fantasy, the infinite frictionless perfect market, but just
the more ordinary day to day abuse of buyers who know they have a choice.
Finally the scholars themselves have had enough.  Today the Annals of
Mathematics is an overlay journal, that is, its contents are in effect
available without cost to anyone with an Internet connection.  And the
Annals is a serious journal.


A recently founded journal which is published on the net is
Theory and Applications of Categories:


>From the last page above:

Authors retain ownership of copyright to their work, subject to
appropriate use of the work by the journal. For details consult the
Copyright Agreement, to which authors must agree before an accepted
paper is published.


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