Wednesday, 21 March 2012

yet another academic publishing blog

I have seen a variety of other blogs discussing the problems in the academic publishing system, with many discussions as to *why* the system is continuing to thrive, depsite the presence of the internet having rendered most of the services provided by publishers obslete. However, none of the discussions which have crossed my path address what, to me, is likely the biggest reason. As scientists our publication records matter—if we don’t have “enough” first-author papers published we don’t land jobs in acaidmeia, and we don’t get grants if we have jobs. The universities for which we work are ranked, in part, by the number of publications we produce, and the quality of the journals in which we publish. The more “A” ranked journal articles produced by a given university, the better it is considered to be, and the easier time it has of getting funding. So long as funding decisions are based, in part, on our list of publications, and so long as the prestiege of the journals in which we are publishing matters, the system will continue to thrive, despite so many of us being unhappy with it. Is there hope of this changing? Perhaps, if enough people want it to change.

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