Feeds

Reed says yes to science on the Web

Publisher dips toe into open access

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

The essential guide to IT transformation

Academic publisher Reed Elsevier says it will allow scientists to post copies of their articles on the web, a u-turn from its previous position. The move means as many as 200,000 articles could now be made available online, The Guardian reports, albeit under very strict Ts&Cs.

The publishing conditions allow authors to put a plain text version of their papers up on their own websites. Reed insists that the sites link back to its own front page, and say there must be no external links to the re-published text.

Until now, Reed has taken a very pro-subscription stance on the debate over open access to academic papers. It argued that the quality of published research would suffer if it was made available online. Other publishers who take a more open approach charge academics a publishing fee, and then makes the content freely available.

Despite some positive responses from Universities, notably from Stevan Harnad, professor of cognitive science at the University of Southampton and a leading proponent of open access, rival publishers dismissed the decision as a piece of cynical PR.

They accuse the company of making a token effort, and say the purpose of the decision is to distract attention from criticism of the heavy subscription fees Reed charges universities and libraries for its journals. Reed's chief executive has recently had to defend its fees before the Commons science and technology committee.

Deborah Cockerill, assistant publisher at open access publisher BioMed Central, told The Guardian that this kind of archiving was almost totally useless, and barely scratched the surface of the issue of controlled access.

"They [Reed] are offering a series of limited forms of access - so partial compared with open access so that it won't threaten the subscription model. This kind of archiving is in many ways useless to the majority of scientists, mainly because no one will know the copies exist at all or where to find them," she said. ®

Related stories

Copying is Theft and other legal myths
Obit: Roger Needham
Anti-open source whitepaper devastated
Author of Mathematica proposes a new basis for science

Gartner critical capabilities for enterprise endpoint backup

More from The Register

next story
Boffins attempt to prove the UNIVERSE IS JUST A HOLOGRAM
Is this the real life? Is this just fantasy?
Our LOHAN spaceplane ballocket Kickstarter climbs through £8000
Through 25 per cent but more is needed: Get your UNIQUE rewards!
China building SUPERSONIC SUBMARINE that travels in a BUBBLE
Shanghai to San Fran in two hours would be a trick, though
SpaceX prototype rocket EXPLODES over Texas. 'Tricky' biz, says Elon Musk
No injuries or near injuries. Flight stayed in designated area
Galileo, Galileo! Galileo, Galileo! Galileo fit to go. Magnifico
I'm just a poor boy, nobody loves me. But at least I can find my way with ESA GPS by 2017
Astronomers scramble for obs on new comet
Amateur gets fifth confirmed discovery
prev story

Whitepapers

Best practices for enterprise data
Discussing how technology providers have innovated in order to solve new challenges, creating a new framework for enterprise data.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Advanced data protection for your virtualized environments
Find a natural fit for optimizing protection for the often resource-constrained data protection process found in virtual environments.
How modern custom applications can spur business growth
Learn how to create, deploy and manage custom applications without consuming or expanding the need for scarce, expensive IT resources.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?