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    • CommentRowNumber1.
    • CommentAuthorMark C. Wilson
    • CommentTimeMay 20th 2012
    • (edited May 20th 2012)

    Peter Cameron is a well-known mathematician with a blog. He is more or less asking to be convinced to stop dealing with Elsevier. See In particular, where could the conference proceedings currently published in Discrete Mathematics be published in future?

    • CommentRowNumber2.
    • CommentAuthorzskoda
    • CommentTimeMay 20th 2012

    Well, I agree very much with Cameron, that the proposal for gold access (author pays for open access) is even much worse in principle than Elsevier-like publishing. Not only that that gold access discriminates authors from developing countries and pure institutions and specially those creative scientists who success to produce while being out of academia/funding, but it sets the standards of punishing authors and requiring them to descend to the self-promotion as if they were prostitutes, instead of rewarding them even in minimal way by giving free reprint copies and merit-based dissemination of their work.

  1. I am not in favor of Gold open access publishing in mathematics, but the view that many mathematicians have on this model seems really out of proportion. I suggest reading the publishing posts at to get the point of view of researchers happy to work in gold open access environment, where grants (and not authors personal funds) pay for the work done on paper by the publisher, and any author can waive the fees if do not have a grant (in PLOS).

    I do think it makes sense to pay for the diffusion and the work involved in running a journal rather than pay for access; but I would prefer an institution-pays model, like SCOAP3 tries to achieve. And I think we can do that with minimal funding.

  2. I’d like to second Benoit’s comment. A calm discussion of Gold OA would be helpful.

    • CommentRowNumber5.
    • CommentAuthorzskoda
    • CommentTimeMay 21st 2012
    • (edited May 21st 2012)

    Interesting, I did not hear about calm discussion of Elsevier; why would one model require calm discussion while the other would not ? I could list many advantages of Elsevier in comparison to gold access. Elsevier for example spams me (at various servers in various countries I have access to) by factor 10 or more times less than 2-3 major open access publishers, especially those based in India. Elsevier does not charge me as an author and does not make ridiculuous insulting statement that publishing me with several hundred dollars for few pages is ’low fee’. Elsevier does not ridicule scientists from third world countries, unlike the gold open access stance does. I could list many more.

    where grants (and not authors personal funds)

    This is ignoring in face the main problem: not all people have grants and academic affiliation, or are from pure countries where several hundred dollars per paper means impossible mission (for a creative minigroup of a professor, postdoc and 2 grad students, count on 6-12 papers per year, what sums to more than full yearly grant in those countries). Second for those who are employed this makes people who publish more being bigger burden in the part of funding they can directly control, than those laisy people who do no creative work while using far larger amount of maintaining labs, offices, heating and so on. Many people will restrain from publishing just to save the money for their grad student or something else, what is not a good way to encourage good publishing.

    Finally this is ignoring the fact of appreciation. If somebody has to pay this means one is not invited to come. Invited guests to a party do not pay entrance fee.

    Waiver does not help to those people who have grant, but using it means getting away with large portion of total research money.

  3. @zskoda: Well, calm discussions about every model seems obviously welcome to me. Did you have a look at SV-POW? Again, I do not think that gold open access is a good model for mathematics (but it may be good for those disciplines where it is anyway impossible to do research without huge fundings), but that it may not deserves the treatment it receives here.

    I am particularly puzzled by your view of saying that paying to be published is an insult to the author. A publisher (that does not get paid by the readers) has absolutely no reason to be thankful to an author; and the author shall not try to get credit from a publisher : she rather seeks credit from her peers, her readers and her employers. Paying for publishing in a gold open access journal is paying the publisher for the work it does, there is no punishment in this.

    • CommentRowNumber7.
    • CommentAuthorzskoda
    • CommentTimeMay 25th 2012

    A publisher (that does not get paid by the readers) has absolutely no reason to be thankful to an author

    Giving away a creative work, giving away copyright, giving away the right for final format, etc. all just for the profit of the publisher is not something they should be grateful for ? I guess you are kidding. Why is then Elsevier trying to comply to some extent, if there is nothing they can loose ?

    the author shall not try to get credit from a publisher

    Why then WRITERS of beletristics try that ? Our work is lower so we need to prostitute to get equal treatment ?

    Paying for publishing in a gold open access journal is paying the publisher for the work it does

    The editorial boards are NOT paid, and, we the referees, are not, and we together do much more work than the publisher – read (in the case of OA) “the host of the journal site”. Still, it is NOT wrong that the publisher gets some money paid for the part they do, of course, but who pays – if it costs those who create, they are implicitly told create less, you will save. This is fundamentally wrong. It is like me paying to work at my institute. This is a facility of general use and its basic costs should be paid by lump sum. If I have to pay for using bathroom at my institute, I will rather stay working at home. As a consequence I will interact less with people and feel less welcome to the institute, I will not feel as respected person. I will feel my institute does not respect me. If this is part of the shift of policy at my institute it will be a normal reaction to be insulted for the new bathroom fee introduced. Mathematicians should translate the story along isomorphisms.