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Education Science

Faculty Votes For Open Access Policy At UC San Francisco 146

Posted by Soulskill
from the setting-an-example dept.
Marian the Librarian writes "UCSF is among the first public institutions to adopt an open access policy, and is the largest scientific institution to have such a policy. The policy, voted unanimously by the faculty, will allow UCSF authors to put electronic versions of their published scientific articles on an open access repository making their research findings freely available to the public. Dr. Richard A. Schneider, who led the initiative, said, 'Our primary motivation is to make our research available to anyone who is interested in it, whether they are members of the general public or scientists without costly subscriptions to journals. The decision is a huge step forward in eliminating barriers to scientific research.'"
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Faculty Votes For Open Access Policy At UC San Francisco

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  • by crazyjj (2598719) * on Friday May 25, 2012 @09:32AM (#40108505)

    UA faculty voted unanimously today to restrict all university research to millionaires and large corporations only.

  • Good, now... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by betterunixthanunix (980855) on Friday May 25, 2012 @09:47AM (#40108611)
    Now, let's get other big institutions on board with this, and then let's turn to the problem of journals. We really do not need journals anymore; their primary function is to distribute papers to other researchers, which can be done online, and peer review and editing can be done by professors at universities (and this is frequently the case anyway -- often unpaid). The Internet connects researchers to each other, so why are we not using it to accomplish these goals?

    In any case, this is a good first step.
    • Re:Good, now... (Score:5, Interesting)

      by noh8rz3 (2593935) on Friday May 25, 2012 @10:00AM (#40108687)
      Yes, but without journals, how will we per-judge the quality of others' work? This may sound facetious, but it's not. Any fool can write a journal article, and many fools can write compelling article. A journal offers getting and review by members in the field. How else can I judge the validity of a paper, especially if I'm not in the field myself?
      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        The Internet already made this point moot, friend.

        • Re:Good, now... (Score:5, Insightful)

          by noh8rz3 (2593935) on Friday May 25, 2012 @10:21AM (#40108829)
          no, the internet has made this question more relevant than ever. In a time of free and rapid dissemination of information, how can we judge the validity of that information. This is especially important if you're going to suggest supplanting a peer reviewed journal with open access. I await your answer!
          • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

            by Anonymous Coward

            The problem is not reviewing, the problem is gaining sufficient reputation.

            You see, the internet replaces the distribution mechanism. It does not replace the reviewing process. So that we keep that as (as topic starter said) the way we already did it -- by academics, unpaid. Whether this is distributed electronically or on dead trees does not matter. The label that is on the distribution matters -- that is the seal of quality.
            To generate a new seal of quality, we'll have to start from square one: building r

          • Re:Good, now... (Score:5, Insightful)

            by Anonymous Coward on Friday May 25, 2012 @10:56AM (#40109097)

            Want to guess who does the actual "peer reviewing"? You know... who judges the validity of published information and analysis...

            Hint: it's not publishers.

            It's the scientists themselves. And they do it without any type of monetary compensation (i.e. for free/gratis).

            Scientists do the work.
            (Other) scientists review the work.
            Publishers only do typesetting, rip-off scientists of their intellectual property right and little more than that.

            On the other hand... taxpayers ALREADY have to pay scientists to do research, already have to pay for scientists to spend their time doing peer-review, already have to give money to libraries so they can pay the publishers for their subscriptions (i.e. access to the research that was already funded by taxpayers to begin with). And... yeah... if they want to access that research that was bought and paid for them, guess what? THEY HAVE TO PAY YET AGAIN.

            Here's a crazy idea... take all the money that universities and libraries pay to publishers worldwide and use it to enable "open access initiatives" to have the required tools and expertise (mostly at the level of typesetting, since everything else is already covered by scientists anyway) for preparation and free dissemination of high-quality publications.

            Meanwhile... in the real world... current (i.e. already existing) open access journals are ALREADY some of the most reputed venues for scientific publication (e.g. "BMC Genomics"). So... yeah, no need to refute you when Reality already does it for me.

            Please... do tell... in what way does the "open access" model (as opposed to the "pay-wall" model of scientific publishing) prevent scientists from doing what they already are doing for free (i.e. peer-review)? I await your answer!

            • Re:Good, now... (Score:4, Informative)

              by noh8rz3 (2593935) on Friday May 25, 2012 @11:19AM (#40109283)
              ahh, I see. gone AC to avoid the bad karma...

              Here's your answer - open access is just one piece of the puzzle, and without a peer review certification process it is meaningless. If you're a senior academic and leader in your field, then your reputation precedes you and people will turn to your stuff regardless of peer review. But if you're a junior academic / post doc, perhaps your stuff is legit or perhaps it is crap and you're pushing it out the door to up your publication count. We need a certified peer review process for this.

              FYI, these open access internet journals, you typically have to pay money for the paper to get peer reviewed. I'm fine twith that. as long as there's a process!

          • Have you ever heard of a search engine? It's this fancy tool that uses an algorithm to determine the most relevant webpage for your query. Somehow, I think there's space here to use that technology to build a search engine that will return you the most relevant article for your query. For example, beyond keywords, it could leverage highest number of citations, most blue-ribbon reviewers, best ratings, etc. You could even build reputation graphs for papers and reviewers.

            All of that is old hat. And, if it is

            • by noh8rz3 (2593935)
              who's a sockpuppet? is that an accusation?

              here's a fact that blew my mind when my advisor told me - 90% of published articles are wrong. If this gets through the peer review process, how are you going to tell through your search bot which is best?

              • If 90% of published articles are wrong, the current model is already failing. What you're absolutely missing, is that there is nothing in the journal model that can't be replicated online. ABSOLUTELY NOTHING. And since the heavy lifting - the writing of the paper and the review - is already done for free for the papers, it's trivial to put that process on the internet.

                Looks like your other accounts managed to get some modpoints. Nice going.

                • by noh8rz3 (2593935)
                  I see you deduced that "noh8rz3" follows "noh8rz2" and "noh8rz". You're onto me, sherlock! Truth is, I create and use these accounts sequentially, because when I speak truth to power people mod me down into oblivion, essentially silencing any dissent. So by creating new accounts I'm doing my small part to keep slashdot a lively community. you're welcome.
          • by tlhIngan (30335)

            no, the internet has made this question more relevant than ever. In a time of free and rapid dissemination of information, how can we judge the validity of that information. This is especially important if you're going to suggest supplanting a peer reviewed journal with open access. I await your answer!

            Same way it's always done. You do realize that any idiot with a computer and a web page can put up whatever they want, right? How do we judge the validity of information we find on the Internet?

            No reason we c

            • by Obfuscant (592200)

              Peer review happens constantly - you're reading papers from your field, you're publishing papers others are reading.

              That's not "peer review". Peer review means changes are made to correct errors prior to publication, or entire papers are withdrawn because they are bogus. It's not a "peer review" when someone arbitrary reads your paper. Google won't help you figure out if a paper is crap or not, it will only tell you that it contains a high percentage of the right keywords.

              And peer review doesn't mean the paper is sent to your friends to review, it is sent to people who sometimes are your harshest critics. If a paper ca

              • by noh8rz3 (2593935)
                thanks for saying things more convincingly than I could. you should have inserted it into the top of the thread, so you got +5!
          • by Twinbee (767046)
            I've already answered something similar to this question before. A pagerank type mechanism for people (perhaps multidimensional to cater to the specific skill set of the ranker) can be used. Votes can be out of a hundred, and are weighted according to the authority of the person doing the ranking.

            The devil's in the details, but that's the basic idea.
            • by noh8rz3 (2593935)
              you can crowdsource a lot of thigns, but you can't crowdsource expert opinion. "4 out of 5 dentists agree, white strips are good for your teeth!" To put it another way, do you get your medial advice off of webmd, or do you go see a doctor? nuff said. no need to reply, there's not really anything more to say.
            • by noh8rz3 (2593935)
              also, you're showing your ignorance about peer reivew. it's not just a rating after a paper is complete, like rotten tomatoes. it's feedback before teh paper was finalized. 1) the reviewers provide advice on how to make a paper stronger. 2) the reviewers reject bad papers, ensuring that they don't see the light of day. crowdsource that!
              • by Twinbee (767046)
                I was talking from a perspective about papers getting looked at in the first place. And how much 'authority' should be given to a particular citation, or even if it's not worth citing at all. That kind of thing.
                • by noh8rz3 (2593935)
                  so, a paper's worth would be determined by the number and quality of papers it cites? Then I'll have an easy time writing grade A papers!
                  • by Twinbee (767046)
                    More like the other way around. A citation would help the citated paper. I think that's similar to what Google does with their Google Scholar search.

                    Also it would help the person who's writing the paper decide whether a citation is worth using (or whether it might undermine their paper).

                    And yes, I'm sure there's room for abuse if it's not thought out well enough.
                    • by noh8rz3 (2593935)
                      yes but... how are you going to rank a new paper? You know, one that hasn't been cited yet? hmm? I await your response.
                    • by Twinbee (767046)
                      You could have an 'Author' rank as well, and that could either be a separate rank, or maybe it could contribute to the paper too. The details could be messy. Otherwise, yeah, the new paper would have to wait until it garnered some citations. Is waiting such a bad thing? (All this can be in addition to peer review of course).

                      In any case, that's the system Google employs for their ranking technique.
                    • by noh8rz3 (2593935)
                      yes, it's obviously a bad thing. i'm an academic and I want to know what the new research is! I don't care what the agglomerated opinion is of 10 year old research. I need a tool to be able to evaluate new research. I await your answer!
                    • by Twinbee (767046)
                      You'd have to rely then on the author's existing reputation. Or maybe have other scientists rank the paper who themselves have varying degrees of reputation based on their existing papers (or from votes directly).

                      I think the conversation has drifted a bit since we started...
                    • by noh8rz3 (2593935)
                      so you're saying... you've found a convoluted system that may result in a system equivalent to what we currently have? that's progress! you should run for president!
        • Re:Good, now... (Score:5, Insightful)

          by gstoddart (321705) on Friday May 25, 2012 @10:47AM (#40109023) Homepage

          The Internet already made this point moot, friend.

          Yes, because we all know you can believe everything on the internet.

          Seriously, look at Wikipedia and loads of other things which get petty little squabbles about what is "true" and people spinning it to make their own point.

          Good, solid, reliable peer-reviewed stuff (and I mean qualified peers, not random people on the internet) is much harder to achieve than wikipedia.

          Think of how many "think tanks" put out position papers on behalf of whoever is paying for them -- much of that would utterly fail in a peer-reviewed context, but they get put out there to say "see, our opinion on science is just as valid as these guys". Joe Average has no idea this is just a tactic to muddy the waters -- it sounds awfully science-y to him.

          I think the internet has done the opposite of making peer-reviewed journals moot. Hell, we keep hearing how much of science is absolutely unbelievable as the authors fail to use any meaningful scientific rigor.

      • Re:Good, now... (Score:4, Insightful)

        by betterunixthanunix (980855) on Friday May 25, 2012 @10:07AM (#40108745)
        Which I addressed in my post, but for clarity:
        1. Peer review is often unpaid under the current system
        2. You do not need a journal to organize peer review when researchers can communicate with each other rapidly on the Internet
        • by noh8rz3 (2593935)
          No, you're not being complete. In order for open access to replace journals, there must be a rigorous, transparent method of peer review. A good journal definitely has a good peer review process, but how would I know if an article posted online has been peered review? perhaps you propose a public discussion system, but then every article is like an entry on slashdot :/
          • Re:Good, now... (Score:5, Interesting)

            by betterunixthanunix (980855) on Friday May 25, 2012 @10:39AM (#40108963)
            Well, I think the solution lies in cryptography (disclaimer: I am a grad student doing research in cryptography). You need a system where researchers in a field could apply digital signatures to papers, but with a twist: the reviewers should remain anonymous after applying those signatures. This is not an impossible task; it is called a "group signature." The idea is that universities/researchers would cooperate to bring peer reviewers together, and those reviewers would be given group signature keys that they would apply to the papers they review. A person reading a paper could verify the signatures, which would tell them which consortium of universities/researchers organized the review process for that paper.

            Like journals, the groups of reviewers could be organized on a per-month basis, and the names the whole group would be published -- with only a fraction actually reviewing any particular paper. It is not a complete break from journals as a system, it is just a way to use computers and the Internet to publish instead of relying on the old publishing companies; the way researchers communicate with each other has changed, and publishing articles should change too.
            • by jank1887 (815982)

              mod parent up! I was just about to post about the problem of maintaining the anonymity of the peer review process while guaranteeing peer review. Science and Nature obviously have a different levels of rigor from the Journal of Your Mom's Basement. Your idea has merit.

              • by pepty (1976012)
                It's a start. But peer review is rarely completely anonymous. First off, there may be only 10 or fewer people its logical to ask to review a highly specialized paper. In the consortia model, if "University of California" (10,000 professors?) signs a review, there's a good chance someone knowledgeable in their field could narrow it down to 2 or 3 professors before reading it, and know exactly who wrote it after reading it. Also, authors are often asked to suggest some of the reviewers, and are allowed to pr
                • In the consortia model, if "University of California" (10,000 professors?) signs a review, there's a good chance someone knowledgeable in their field could narrow it down to 2 or 3 professors before reading it, and know exactly who wrote it after reading it.

                  Sure, but this is not something that will be true regardless of what system you use to manage peer review. My only point is that we can and should take publishing companies out of the loop -- they serve no purpose that cannot be served better / at lower cost using the Internet. The only requirement is that we do not weaken the security that publishing companies provide as a service right now -- in technical terms, I should be able to simulate a publishing company facilitating the peer review process, an

            • by noh8rz3 (2593935)
              The actual method (cryptography) isn't the issue. I'm sure it's easy to solve. The problem is having a transparent certified process for peer review. Where people say "ahh, they used the noh8rz3 method, so I can rely on it." This is the true value of the journal. It can be replaced by a company that facilitates peer review. But it will cost money up front.Get that piece of the puzzle, and open access is viable and won't destroy academia.
            • by ceoyoyo (59147)

              You're just replacing journals with universities. And universities a) don't want to run journals, b) can't run anything else effectively anyway, c) have a built in conflict of interest and d) journals accept papers from people who aren't affiliated with universities.

              • I think points (a) and (b) cannot really be solved by any technical means; if universities are not interested in facilitating peer review or editing and would rather just continue to pay publishing companies to do so, then even a perfect technical solution is irrelevant.

                That being said, point (c) can be addressed by having many institutions collaborate on managing journals. I do not think that this is inherently problematic, and if the process is completely transparent then conflicts of interest could b
                • by ceoyoyo (59147)

                  Why do you keep talking about cryptography? There isn't really a problem verifying that someone is who they say they are. The problem is that somebody has to do the organizational work, and no, your computer won't replace a good editor. That editor can be paid by a journal company, or by a university. It doesn't really matter, but there are some advantages to having some arm's length organizations, not the least being that most universities are already huge, bloated and inefficient.

                  "Publishing" companie

                  • That editor can be paid by a journal company

                    ...or not paid at all, which is not uncommon.

                    But similar organizations are still needed to do all the things that journal publishers do now OTHER than printing and distributing paper journals

                    Really, the only thing that needs to be done is to select the reviewers and editors; this is not something that requires some huge bureaucracy, nor does it require a publishing company. Everything else can be done over the Internet.

                    using open access journals is going to have to lead to some serious cuts to library funding and fees universities skim off grants for services.

                    We can dream, but my guess is that universities will still take as much grant money as they can. They can always claim that we get to sit at their desks, and must therefore give them a boatload of money for that privilege...

                    • by ceoyoyo (59147)

                      "Really, the only thing that needs to be done is to select the reviewers and editors;"

                      And maintain archives, and run the web site making everything available, and provide the reputation, etc. It doesn't require a huge bureaucracy, but it does require some organization, as the existing open source journals demonstrate.

                      You can wave your hands all you want, but EVERYTHING requires someone to organize things. Usually more somebodies than you'd think.

          • This is not a hard problem. The mere fact an article appears in a reputable journal is evidence it was properly peer reviewed. This can be replaced with digital signatures. An online journal could sign each approved article. Or if that's too hard, a journal can list on their own website (which itself is verified with a Domain Keys kind of scheme) all accepted papers and their digests, rather like most download site's md5sums.txt and sha1sums.txt files. Wouldn't even have to have the papers themselves,

            • by noh8rz3 (2593935)

              Meantime, in many ways better than peer review is number of citations. The more a paper is cited, the more significant it is thought to be.

              that's super, but...

              peer review is intended to vet the paper BEFORE it's published - you know, when it doesn't have any citations? Also, peer review isn't just a thumbs up / thumbs down. You get valuable feedback from leaders in your field, and can redo your paper and research so make it stronger. I don't have the link but search youtube for "hitler third reviewer" for a funny video on the topic.

              • peer review is intended to vet the paper BEFORE it's published

                Why is that so important? You wait for a formal review if you want. I want to see new work right away. Publish and go! Yes I might waste time on garbage, but the lengthy delay of a review is more costly. If a work is crap, it won't hold up long. Besides, I've seen plenty of crap that was peer reviewed.

                Some researchers want their work reviewed, but most do not. I've seen people practically write papers on the back of reviewers' efforts, which seems to me to be a bit unfair. The reviewers point out

            • by jank1887 (815982)

              I can see it now. there will be a paper clearinghouse. it'll be like Digg for academics. Better start planning on exploiting the system now, I'm sure there's money to be made in this somewhere.

        • by Obfuscant (592200)

          Peer review is often unpaid under the current system

          Peer review is often paid in a quid-pro-quo manner. I.e., if you publish you are expected to review in return.

          If every scientist can publish without having peer reviews, why would they volunteer to peer review other people's work? It's not a fun job.

          You do not need a journal to organize peer review when researchers can communicate with each other rapidly on the Internet

          The ability of folks to communicate quickly amongst their own group has nothing to do with peer review and does nothing to reduce the need for it. One scientist publishing a paper cannot be expected to deal with potentially thousands of other scientists in h

        • by ceoyoyo (59147)

          You call that addressed?

          Journals certify the peer review. They pick the reviewers, keep track of who's a crappy reviewer, etc. The journal is motivated to make sure things stay legit because their reputation is on the line, and that's really all they have. If you don't have someone overseeing things you get... the YouTube comment section. Or Slashdot.

      • Re:Good, now... (Score:4, Insightful)

        by nedlohs (1335013) on Friday May 25, 2012 @10:28AM (#40108875)

        Did you just not see the "peer review and editing can be done by professors at universities " part what you are replying to?

        The basic model of journals (not all use it of course) is:

        * Papers are submitted with no payment to the authors.
        * Papers are sent for review to experts - usually university professors (who often then oass it to their doctorate students) - with no payment to the reviewers.
        * The journal then prints the accepted papers and sells them to the very places that both supplies the work and the reviewers for free.

        Now there is a bunch of administration work the journal does, but we have computers these days, and universities already have a bunch of admin staff.

        The return the reviewers/submitters get is the prestige of being published in a respected journal and of being a reviewer/editor for a respected journal. The same thing would apply if the journals stopped being money siphoning devices.

        The main issue is certain journals are prestigious now and that takes time to change. If you have what you believe is a great piece of research now, where are you going to submit it? The prestigious journal that looks great on your list of publications and likely pulls in more grant money but that charges a fortune to libraries to buy it? Or that new relatively unknown journal that sells to libraries at cost (electronic copy free)?

        Hopefully the newer fields can get the ball rolling since they don't have as much of the existing prestige problem.

        • Re:Good, now... (Score:4, Insightful)

          by uncqual (836337) on Friday May 25, 2012 @12:49PM (#40110073)

          Aren't there some important missing steps in that process for respected journals? Those steps being performed by technical editors who:

          • * Review the flood of papers they receive.
          • * Reject the vast majority of papers received.
          • * Select appropriate reviewers for the remaining papers.
          • * Coordinate updates among reviewers/authors.
          • * Make a final publish/no publish decision.

          Although these steps don't (I think) justify the outrageous prices for many journal subscriptions, it's a lot of tedious work that requires technical expertise and I'm not sure one can find enough unpaid qualified gatekeepers to do it reliably and in sufficient volume consistently enough.

          These steps seem to be important to maintain the reputation of the journal by not passing too much unworthy BS to reviewers (thereby resulting in them withdrawing from the review pool) and by not rejecting too much really important work (that later gets published in a lesser journal raising its relative ranking and increasing fragmentation in the field and resulting in a lot of "fairly good" journals but no "great" journals in a field)

          • by pepty (1976012)

            it's a lot of tedious work that requires technical expertise and I'm not sure one can find enough unpaid qualified gatekeepers to do it reliably and in sufficient volume consistently enough.

            What I think would work well is the law school journal model, which is essentially student run but still high quality due to the extreme reputation enhancement you get from being part of the process. Have groups of graduate students and postdocs (all in the same field, but not necessarily all in the same school) be responsible for most of the editing functions; they get paid in reputation (what you need most while training) and maybe travel costs for journal-specific meetings. Students would also end up wi

      • >> How else can I judge the validity of a paper, especially if I'm not in the field myself?

        Look for +5 Insightful

      • Yes, but without journals, how will we per-judge the quality of others' work? This may sound facetious, but it's not. Any fool can write a journal article, and many fools can write compelling article. A journal offers getting and review by members in the field. How else can I judge the validity of a paper, especially if I'm not in the field myself?

        We are talking about science.

        You know, testable explanations and predictions about everything.

        You judge the validity of a paper by testing their explanations and predictions. That's essentially what the scientific community does for a living. Some person finds something odd, some other person comes up with an explanation, others test that explanation to see if its valid, and in the process might find other odd stuff. Rince and repeat.

        If you are worried that, without journals, you might not get a confort

        • by noh8rz3 (2593935)
          NO!!!! the whole point of peer review is to judge a paper BEFORE it is published. whatever. I'm sick of this thread. a bunch of egghead wannabees thinking they know what goes into academic work. I'm in academia, and I know how critical the peer review process and certification (call it thumbs up, or blessing) is. Go back to your IT job.
          • NO!!!! the whole point of peer review is to judge a paper BEFORE it is published. whatever. I'm sick of this thread. a bunch of egghead wannabees thinking they know what goes into academic work. I'm in academia, and I know

            Considering what you've been posting, your claim, that you are in academia, is not believable.

            • by noh8rz3 (2593935)
              Whatever. 4 conference papers, 3 journal articles. varying degrees of junk. but I gotta get published! It would be much easier if I could just post any crap online, because then I wouldn't have to jump through any hoops for rigor or accuracy.
          • by pepty (1976012)

            NO!!!! the whole point of peer review is to judge a paper BEFORE it is published.

            Very true. As you pointed out, most of the value added by peer review happens before publication.

        • by Obfuscant (592200)

          You judge the validity of a paper by testing their explanations and predictions. That's essentially what the scientific community does for a living.

          Right. I want to judge the validity of a paper on the Higgs boson, so I rent time on the SSC to reproduce the experiment. Everyone else who wants to judge does the same thing. Seems like a good use of limited resources. Can you find me a funding agency that will pay for this?

          Peer review puts this work in the hands of a few people who are allegedly experts in the field, and their job is to judge the validity of the paper, not necessarily the results of the experiment that it may be reporting on. Was the sc

          • Right. I want to judge the validity of a paper on the Higgs boson, so I rent time on the SSC to reproduce the experiment. Everyone else who wants to judge does the same thing. Seems like a good use of limited resources. Can you find me a funding agency that will pay for this?

            Boy, aren't we exaggerating.

            Before thinking about purchasing a particle accelerator, you have a considerable number of things which you can and must actually do by yourself in order to test the paper's validity. One of those things is actually reading the paper, understanding the theoretical hypothesis which were laid out, analyse the data which was used as a basis for the results presented in the paper, check if it holds out, evaluate the results... You know, the peer review process.

            In this context, the n

            • by Obfuscant (592200)

              Before thinking about purchasing a particle accelerator,

              Boy, aren't we exxagerating? Who said purchase?

              One of those things is actually reading the paper, understanding the theoretical hypothesis which were laid out, analyse the data which was used as a basis for the results presented in the paper, check if it holds out, evaluate the results... You know, the peer review process.

              That is not the peer review process. It is also a rare paper that provides all the raw data so someone can analyze it himself. Nobody does that, because nobody wants to give away the data they'll use for the next PhD or paper.

              In this context, the need for a particle accelerator only enters the equation if you suspect that the results presented in the paper aren't up to par, and you wish to replicate them to see if you aren't being duped.

              You are wrong. The scientific method does not say that one replicates an experiment only if one thinks he's being duped, it says you replicate the experiment to show that you get the same results when the experiment is done by someone e

      • by Sloppy (14984)

        How do you, as a reader, judge whether a journal is real or not?

        Move that decision (however it is that you're implementing it) from the journal to the paper.

        Or not. What you mind find is you judge the validity of each journal using an amazingly weak and vulnerable algorithm. Solve that problem and you'll solve the paper problem.

        • by noh8rz3 (2593935)
          this "amazingly weak algorithm" has worked for science for hundreds of years, and we've achieved our greatest accomplishments on the back of this "weak" system. In the meantime, we have "vibrant" communties like /. or digg where people waste their time saying inane things. QED.
        • by pepty (1976012)

          How do you, as a reader, judge whether a journal is real or not?

          Move that decision (however it is that you're implementing it) from the journal to the paper.

          Most readers aren't in a vacuum. The average reader (been active in the field for 5-40 years) of the average journal article probably already has a relationship with the principal author: they've known each other for years, hired each other's undergrads and grad students as grad students and postdocs, spoken to each other at conferences and seen each others' presentations. At the very least they've probably already read several articles by the author and maybe reviewed one of them. Journal articles and conf

    • Good luck. Most Universities are FILLED with corporate kissasses.

      I've worked at a few. The people at the top wearing suits are no different than the people at the top of the corporations wearing the suits, nincompoops that have mastered the Peter Principle.

    • by ceoyoyo (59147)

      You're right! What we need is some entity that accepts papers, matches them up with peer reviewers, provides editors, provides a known location to find papers... oh right, that's what journals do now. I don't know anyone who actually uses paper journals, and I don't think the library at my (major) university buys most journals in physical format anymore. I also don't think PLOS even prints a dead tree version. That doesn't mean "journals" aren't necessary.

    • by Darinbob (1142669)

      What does this policy actually do? Faculty were not forbidden to use open access repositories in the past and under the new policy they're not required to use them either. Is this just a nudge?

  • by codeAlDente (1643257) on Friday May 25, 2012 @10:48AM (#40109035)
    So their "policy" is that taxpayers have the right to see published forms of research they funded, as long as it's OK with the journal publisher. From TFA: "Researchers are able to “opt out” if they want to publish in a certain journal but find that the publisher is unwilling to comply with the UCSF policy. “The hope,” said Schneider, “is that faculty will think twice about where they publish, and choose to publish in journals that support the goals of the policy.”
    • by cortex (168860) <neuraleng@gmail.com> on Friday May 25, 2012 @11:36AM (#40109419)
      Most researchers will think about this for about 2 seconds and then publish in the journal with the most prestige and highest impact factor that they can. Publishing in high impact journals is a major factor in promotion and tenure for professors, so until universities adapt their policies on promotion and tenure, professors will continue to published in prestigious and expensive closed access journals. When reviewing someone for promotion or tenure, high-level administrators don't have time to read all the journal articles a professor has published, so they really heavily on g-indices and/or h-indices that are based upon journal impact factor scores.
      • by mx+b (2078162)
        This makes me wonder: if they do not have the time to keep up on the progress of the research groups they "manage", why should they have the authority to make decisions like tenure in the first place? i.e., more tweaks to the bureaucracy are needed, not just promotion policies.

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