Nature, Cell and Science are called to account and open access journals gain ground

randy schekmanOn the same day that it was reported that publisher Reed Elzevier seems to be losing its way, US biologist Randy Schekman, a Nobel prize-winner, said his lab would no longer send research papers to the top-tier journals, Nature, Cell and Science.

Writing in the Guardian, he said, “Just as Wall Street needs to break the hold of bonus culture, so science must break the tyranny of the luxury journals.”

Schekman is the editor of eLife, an open-access online journal set up by the Wellcome Trust. Articles submitted to the journal – a competitor to Nature, Cell and Science – are discussed by reviewers who are working scientists and accepted if all agree. The papers are free for anyone to read.

Sebastian Springer, a biochemist at Jacobs University in Bremen, who worked with Schekman at the University of California, Berkeley, said “The system is not meritocratic. You don’t necessarily see the best papers published in those journals. The editors are not professional scientists, they are journalists which isn’t necessarily the greatest problem, but they emphasise novelty over solid work”.

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Mohan comments, in The Hindu:

”Dr. Schekman makes a valid criticism of how these established journals makes it a expensive, exclusive club that’s unreachable for most real scientists. Just like him, we have also started fully peer-reviewed open access journals (jscimedcentral.com) earlier this year that offers FREE publishing to over 80 countries in Asia and Africa and nominal fee for researchers from rest of the world. We have already published over 100 articles.

“Great to see a Nobel laureate openly taking on establishment that muddles real scientific research by making it nearly impossible for the next young Einstein or Tesla with no fancy research budget to shell out, to be able to publish their ground breaking research”.

(Ed: see in http://www.jscimedcentral.com/aboutus.php an impressive list of peer-reviewed open-access journals)

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Posted on December 10, 2013, in Media and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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