[linux-elitists] Science Journals Suck (fwd)

Eugene Leitl Eugene.Leitl@lrz.uni-muenchen.de
Tue Jul 10 04:43:08 PDT 2001

-- Eugen* Leitl <a href="http://www.lrz.de/~ui22204/">leitl</a>
ICBMTO  : N48 10'07'' E011 33'53'' http://www.lrz.de/~ui22204
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---------- Forwarded message ----------
Date: Mon, 9 Jul 2001 22:05:29 -0500
From: Robert Buntrock <buntrock2@EARTHLINK.NET>
Subject: Re: [linux-elitists] Science Journals Suck (fwd)

Eugene Leitl wrote:
> I did not realize that referral was done for profit. In case it is, the
> transaction is still mutually profitable, assuming the referers are
> also researchers who also use the publishing resource, which is probably
> a safe bet.

Leitl and others seem to infer that I implied that referees are paid.  I
meant no such implication because, for the most part, that is not the
case.  My cost references were mainly for the total
administrative/editorial process, parts of which should be supported by
some kind of funding.  Otherwise, a totally volunteer and inexperienced
administrative group could produce a less than superior product.  Even
the volunteers would invest "sweat equity" and time is at a premium for
all of us.  The assumption is made that scientists would much more
readily volunteer for a populist, strictly not-for-profit community of
the learned, and that may well be the case.

> The tragedy of the commons does not occur in information sharing
> context, assuming the clients foot the bill for replicating that
> information in a remote location. A modest payment to cover the
> operation costs appears in order.

Human nature being what it is, I think any communal situation is prone
to abuses in the model of the Tragedy of the Commons.  That was
precisely Garret Hardin's point.  Of course, like most prophets he was
widely denounced.

Independent production of e-journals is a recent but not totally new
phenomenon.  I think that those really interested should seek the wisdom
and advice of pioneers like Steve Bachrach, an editor of the Internet
Journal of Chemistry.

-- Bob Buntrock
Buntrock Associates, Inc.

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