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What Does It Actually Cost To Publish a Scientific Paper? 166 166

ananyo writes "Nature has published an investigation into the real costs of publishing research after delving into the secretive, murky world of science publishing. Few publishers (open access or otherwise-including Nature Publishing Group) would reveal their profit margins, but they've pieced together a picture of how much it really costs to publish a paper by talking to analysts and insiders. Quoting from the piece: '"The costs of research publishing can be much lower than people think," agrees Peter Binfield, co-founder of one of the newest open-access journals, PeerJ, and formerly a publisher at PLoS. But publishers of subscription journals insist that such views are misguided — born of a failure to appreciate the value they add to the papers they publish, and to the research community as a whole. They say that their commercial operations are in fact quite efficient, so that if a switch to open-access publishing led scientists to drive down fees by choosing cheaper journals, it would undermine important values such as editorial quality.' There's also a comment piece by three open access advocates setting out what they think needs to happen next to push forward the movement as well as a piece arguing that 'Objections to the Creative Commons attribution license are straw men raised by parties who want open access to be as closed as possible.'"
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What Does It Actually Cost To Publish a Scientific Paper?

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  • Which question? (Score:5, Informative)

    by jklovanc (1603149) on Thursday March 28, 2013 @04:09PM (#43306269)

    What Does It Actually Cost To Publish a Scientific Paper?

    There are several questions that may get swept up in this debate;
    How much does it cost to publish an externally edited scientific paper?
    How much does it cost to publish a peer reviewed scientific paper?
    How much does it cost to publish a scientific journal?
    How much does it cost to publish an externally edited, peer reviewed scientific paper?
    How much does it cost to publish an externally edited, peer reviewed scientific paper in a scientific journal?

    All of these have different costs. ArXiv is an e-print repository funded by donations with an operating costs for 2013-2017 are projected to average of $826,000 per year, including indirect expenses. They are not editors, peer reviewers or journals. In effect they are the entry level in scientific paper publishing and they have significant expenses. Even if peer reviewers and editors are not paid there are still significant support staff needed to shuffle the documents around and maintain the servers, hardware cost, bandwidth costs, insurance costs, customer service costs, etc. The cost of publishing is non-zero and adding editing, peer reviews and journals adds to the cost. Someone has to pay for it and the question is whom.

  • Re:filtering (Score:5, Informative)

    by blind biker (1066130) on Thursday March 28, 2013 @04:18PM (#43306353) Journal

    If you have problem finding papers, I recommend you try academic search engines. At OSU, we developped theadvisor ( http://theadvisor.osu.edu/ [osu.edu] [osu.edu] ). It is a webservice that allows you to search paper that are similar to what you already know. You basically upload a set of papers you know are relevant and the system find what is around.

    Google Scholar does something similar to this: based on your published papers (including conference papers), it monitors the "journalosphere" and alerts me whenever there are new published papers related to my research. And it's scarily accurate. Scarily, because it reminds me every time how many people are working on topics similar to mine, and that I have competition!

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