Paying for scientific papers

Discussion in 'General Science & Technology' started by Luperci, Feb 1, 2008.

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  1. CharonZ Registered Senior Member

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    Researchers don't get money from the journals, we usually pay to publish there.

    Actually that depends on the country, but even in the USA where a lot of research is funded (but not necessarily conducted) by private agencies governmental fundings make out a significant amount. That being said, many governmental funding bodies like e.g. the NIH require that the publications of research funded by them has to be openly accessible.
    Whether the costs that journals charge is justifiable is debatable. However open journals are in the rising. Some, like e.g. PloS or certain BMC journals even have a very high impact factor.
     
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  3. Nasor Valued Senior Member

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    D H:

    I don't know about IEEE journals; I generally only read physics, chemistry, and math journals. In those journals, virtually everything is government-sponsored. But it could certainly be different for other fields.

    Let me explain how journal publication works in the physical sciences, since I'm getting the impression that it must be very different in engineering. When someone submits a paper to a journal, the journal sends it off to other more or less random scientists in the field for review and editing. If the scientists like it and give it a positive review, it gets published. The journals have very specific guidelines about how the submitted papers are to be formatted, what the tables and graphics need to look like, etc. If they don't conform, the journal bounces the article back to the author and tells them to fix it. It's not like the authors are sending the journal a .doc file with some jpegs attached, and the journal editors have to transform it into a publishable article. The journals basically get read-to-publish papers for free; all of the work was done by someone else at no cost to the journal. Then they put pdfs of the papers on a web server and charge everyone $3k/year for access.

    I doubt very seriously that this reflects anything like the true cost of publishing these journals - if the term "publishing" can even be accurately applied to setting up a web page where you serve out pdfs of papers that other people prepared for you for free.
     
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