Posts by Bart Janssen

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  • Speaker: Market failure in the research world, in reply to Mark C. Wilson,

    It is perhaps field-dependent

    Very much so. The "hard sciences" are way ahead of us in that respect.

    I don't begrudge some of the fee because it costs money to have could copy editors and good admin staff at a journal. But some journals are milking it.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 3472 posts Report Reply

  • Speaker: Market failure in the research world, in reply to BenWilson,

    and you can’t just publish without permission if you don’t own the research.

    It's not quite about permission. We very very very rarely get told we can't publish.

    But when we do publish we have a responsibility to all the authors to publish in the place that is best for all the author's careers.

    It's one thing for me to say to hell with the commercial journals I'll publish in Frontiers anyway.

    It's quite another for me to make that decision for an early career scientist who is on the paper as well and the technician and my collaborators.

    It shouldn't affect our careers where we publish (only what we publish) but it does because the bean counters only know what the numbers (like impact factor) tell them.

    Also cheap is a relative term, generally it costs around $3000 for us to publish in an open access journal!

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 3472 posts Report Reply

  • Speaker: Market failure in the research world, in reply to BenWilson,

    Yes. It’s an extreme form of objective alienation, considering how smart the victims are, and how much influence they can wield, and even just considering their own personal finances.

    But we don't control our research finances at all. The Universities and CRIs in NZ and most research institutes worldwide have been conquered by the managers.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 3472 posts Report Reply

  • Speaker: Market failure in the research world,

    I am a huge supporter of open access journals. But I'd point out they aren't free. There is almost always a "page charge" even for internet-only journals to cover admin costs. That charge isn't paid by the libraries but by the researcher = tax payer.

    I'm also aware that while you may dismiss the prestige part of publishing in Nature or Science, the reality for most scientists is prestige/recognition is a big part of the reward for doing the job.

    I'm not whinging (this time) about how little recognition scientists get in the "real world", but getting a paper into one of the top journals is a huge buzz. In a career that is punctuated more by failure than success of any kind. You can't dismiss that effect.

    In 2012 we published in Current Biology, one of the better journals, after being bounced after a week at Nature and after being bounced after review by Science. I'm proud of those things. Yes proud. Nature bounces most papers within 24 hours. Science sends only a fraction of the papers it receives out for review. And Current Biology (our next choice) is a damn good journal.

    That pride is important to my ability to carry on when my institute freezes our budgets again. Sure that's simply my ego, I know that, but it is real.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 3472 posts Report Reply

  • Speaker: Market failure in the research world, in reply to Adam H,

    I think in a world where simple minded beanies decide funding based on simple minded metrics like ‘number of articles published in reputable peer review journals’ you may have hit on a critical aspect of the problem.

    What he said.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 3472 posts Report Reply

  • Speaker: Market failure in the research world, in reply to Angela Hart,

    If academics were to set up their own peer review system, perhaps using an open source model, is there any reason more research could not be published online for all the world to see?

    We are.

    eLife
    The Frontiers family of journals
    and PLOS
    are all prestigious examples of completely open access journals.
    Anyone can read the articles and peer review is handled in much the same way as the commercial journals (ie scientists do it for free)

    BUT

    To get promotions and pay rises in almost any research organisation means you have to convince the accountants* who run all those organisations that your science is any good. Since those accountants neither understand nor care about the science you do they simplistically rely on "standard metrics" and that means you must publish in the commercial journals.

    Unless of course you are already successful and then you can tell the commercial journals (and those accountants) where to shove it.


    *Some of my best friends are accountants (really) and I know they do good work, however they have been given a huge amount of control over Science in NZ and worldwide. A level of control that I find disturbing.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 3472 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Incomplete, inaccurate and misleading, in reply to Angela Hart,

    Goff being accused of leaking the report early

    Goff DID leak the report early

    Which has to rate as one of the stupidist actions I have ever seen from a politician - truly Brendon Horan level stupidity. FFS this is my damn electorate MP WTF was he thinking???

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 3472 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Incomplete, inaccurate and misleading, in reply to nzlemming,

    turned the dump over [people he/she thought were] journalists…

    fixed

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 3472 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: News from home ..., in reply to Rob Stowell,

    I’m shocked at the ease with which union-bashing is part of this conversation.

    Not at all. Just that I don't believe the unions are enough to win the next election and another 6 years of National control will end the unions.

    And yes I'm a member.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 3472 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: News from home ..., in reply to Seriatim,

    I’d hoped for a post here to throw some light on Russell Brown’s comment that the result seems “disastrous … for the prospects of the centre-left”. How is having a strong base with unions and Maori damaging for the projects of the ‘centre-left’? Who then is the ‘centre-left’ , and what are these ‘prospects’ which have been so tragically annihilated?

    The problem I have, and I don't speak for Russell, is that Cunliffe purportedly had exactly the same backing of the unions and the party. Yet under his leadership Labour lost the party vote in safe Labour electorates and turned in a pathetic election result.

    As someone who is somewhat afraid of what an unopposed National government will do to this country in the next three years I'm concerned that Little will not garner the support of the voting public sufficiently to prevent another National dictatorship in the next election.

    That's why I feel the way I do about the result. I recognise that there is a significant group who strongly believe that all you need to win an election is the union and Maori vote. That group is very happy with the result.

    For what it's worth I hope I'm wrong, but everything I've heard about Little suggests the next election will go very similarly to the one just past.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 3472 posts Report Reply

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