The Society for Neuroscience receiving both barrels

22 Aug

Apologies for the third post about open access publishing in a row. Normal service will resume shortly!

I wanted to bring attention to a second open letter published, inspired by our first one to the Association for the Advancement of American Science (AAAS). This letter was aimed at a smaller society, the Society for Neuroscience, and spearheaded by Erin McKiernan, who was also a signatory on the original letter.

My thanks go out to Josh at The Winnower for such speedy publication of these letters, and to everyone who has contributed to these letters in some way so far.

Do you know any publishers or journals with pretty crap policies, or that you’d like to pick a bone with? Issues like licensing or horrendous costs we can tackle, as have been shown here, but it’s nice to see academics taking the fight to publishers – remember, they’re supposed to serve the academic community, not troll it and extort every penny from us while being as regressive to the progress of science as possible!

Drop a comment below if you’d like to join the OA train. We’ll be sending more public letters out shortly. Watch this space!

Continuing the battle for open access that’s good for science, not publishers’ profits

20 Aug

Two developments since the last post regarding open access things for anyone interested!

First, is a little interview I had with the Open Access Button folk about er, open access: http://blog.openaccessbutton.org/2014/08/19/every-time-you-hit-a-paywall-thats-a-publisher-announcing-that-their-role-is-to-prohibit-the-progress-of-science-as-much-as-possible/

Second, is that our open letter to the AAAS has spawned a second one addressed to the Society for Neuroscience, led by Erin McKiernan: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1TwsCrAvnpTx3ggF_QXD1i826ZbsOXNo4CNy2GKsHWWw/edit

It’s not too late to sign either (leave a comment on The Winnower for our original one), and we’ll be using these as the basis to address similar letters to other publishers regarding some of their more dodgy open access policies. Glad to see the community getting behind all this!

 

Swing and a miss by the AAAS for open access

15 Aug

The American Association for the Advancement of Science, the world’s largest scientific organisation, recently announced their latest journal, the fully open access ‘Science Advances‘. While superficially this seems like a good move for them, digging into the details reveals many inherent flaws with the journal, that at worst portray the AAAS as a money-grabbing organisation and enemies to the real progress of science, and at best naive about the current state of scholarly publishing and the direction that the open access movement is pushing it in.

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Grim reaper or gentle giants?

10 Jun

Therizinosaurs were some of the true freaks of the dinosaur world. I mean that in the nicest possible way for something that looked like the sick offspring of a giant chicken and Freddie Kruger. Perhaps the weirdest things about them were these long, scythe-like claws, that although may have seemed deadly, probably weren’t unless you were a particularly scrummy looking piece of foliage. That’s right, these cousins of tyrannosaurs and other theropods used their wicked sickle-claws for trimming hedges for food.

Flandersaurus?

Flandersaurus?

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