The workshop description referred to #OpenScience as
> efforts to make the scientific process more open and inclusive for all relevant actors.
They key word here is *inclusive*. The idea is that, as a society, we benefit if more people are able to contribute to the body of scientific knowledge.
An important component of inclusivity is affordability. Yes, more people can read research if it is freely available, but if that is done by shifting the costs to authors, there is still a barrier to participating in the scientific process.
Luckily, when it comes to scholarly publishing, there is every reason to believe it *can* be cheaper. There’s two reasons for this.
1. Unlike practically every other publishing industry (movies, music, etc.), the price of scholarly publishing has only increased with the advent of the internet.
2. The major scholarly publishers report profit margins of 30–40%, year after year. These numbers are typical (or even at the high end) of luxury brands — in other words, of exclusive goods, which are not inclusive by definition.
In some disciplines, authors first share their work on arXiv. Fellow researchers can then immediately read this work, albeit with a critical eye — it has not been peer reviewed yet. If they notice potential improvements to the work, they can report it to the author, who then incorporates that in a new version uploaded to arXiv.
Another example of this playing out is that, despite providing practically identical services at a higher price, Nature’s Scientific Reports has overtaken PLOS One as the largest journal. Its primary differentiator? The Nature brand.
For the scientific policy advisors at the OECD, my answer to that question is that we should decouple the evaluation of researchers from the publishing process. If researchers are evaluated on the quality of their research instead of the journal it was published in, that would remove their need to pay whatever amount of public money a publisher asks of them just to obtain career credentials.
My message to researchers is similar: find ways to promote your academic work that are independent of the journal it’s published in. I’m working on one such method with Flockademic: by bundling your research together on your academic profile, your research promotes you instead of the journal it’s published in.
NOTICE: Registration on scholar.social is open to anyone who is willing to abide by our Community Standards. Email scholar dot social at protonmail dot com if you want an invite!
Scholar Social is a microblogging platform for researchers, grad students, librarians, archivists, undergrads, academically inclined high schoolers, educators of all levels, journal editors, research assistants, professors, administrators—anyone involved in academia who is willing to engage with others respectfully.
We strive to be a safe space for queer people and other minorities in academia, recognizing that there can only be academic freedom where the existence and validity of interlocutors' identities is taken as axiomatic.
"An academic microblog that you can be proud to put on the last slide of a presentation at a conference"
(Participation is, of course, optional)
Scholar Social features a monthly "official" journal club, in which we try to read and comment on a paper of interest.
Any user of Scholar Social can suggest an article by sending the DOI by direct message to @email@example.com and one will be chosen by random lottery on the last day of the month. We ask that you only submit articles that are from *outside* your own field of study to try to ensure that the papers we read are accessible and interesting to non-experts.