I would like to ask your opinion on something that has fermented in my mind for a long time. What I present to you today are not my own ideas but something that has been inspired by numerous people over the last few years who have engaged in conversations about the topic of scientific publishing. Too many to list to give fair credit but you know who you are. Thank you for all you do for the science community!
I am getting truly fed up with commercial scientific publishing. It just feels so wrong that the tax payer enables our research and once it is done (and has passed peer review), we are asked to pay again for publication and to give ownership away at the same time (copyright). Even worse, the science is then hidden away from the tax payer behind a paywall. What adds to that is how many hours we are spending on additional free work for the publishers by reviewing papers. Now, if academic publishers were struggling to keep the lights on, I would perhaps understand. But hey, they are doing financially really well! Yes, margins are close to 40% in this business!
I think it may be the time to get organized and agree on what on a manifesto along the following lines.
(1) I will not review papers for for-profit publishers unless I am fairly paid for my work. An initial review costs $200 and a re-review costs $100.
(2) I will not submit my papers to journals of for-profit publishers. Instead, I will favor journals by our scientific societies and other not-for-profit groups who fully support open science.
(3) I will not judge scientists (promotion, grants, etc) by the fancy names of the for-profit journals they have published in, but rather by their actual science. No more "Great scientist, she published 3 papers in XYZ the last year. What a smart person."!
What are your thoughts - agree/disagree? Are you ready to sign this? Just wondering.