The Journal Subscription Doomsday Is Upon Us

November 11, 2018

China might have the great firewall when it comes to blocking access, but another infamous digital wall is the great academic paywall a.k.a. subscription paywalls that block access to scientific and academic journals. That could all be changing. Researchers everywhere are shocking and gasping at the thought of have free access to expensive research materials. Could this be the sound of celebration? Nature fills us in on the details in the story, “Radical Open-Access Plan Could Spell End To Journal Subscriptions.”

The celebrating would only take place in Europe, however, as European research funders have banded together for a radical open access initiative that could revolutionize science publishing. The publishers are already angry over this. The European funders are eleven agencies that spend over $8.8 billion annually in research grants. From 2020 and onward, they want all research papers resulting from their grants to be available under a liberal publishing license. The idea is that science should not be kept behind paywalls. The endeavor is called Plan S.

Plan S would change the current publishing model:

“As written, Plan S would bar researchers from publishing in 85% of journals, including influential titles such as Nature and Science. According to a December 2017 analysis, only around 15% of journals publish work immediately as open access (see ‘Publishing models’) — financed by charging per-article fees to authors or their funders, negotiating general open-publishing contracts with funders, or through other means. More than one-third of journals still publish papers behind a paywall, and typically permit online release of free-to-read versions only after a delay of at least six months — in compliance with the policies of influential funders such as the US National Institutes of Health (NIH).

We also noted:

And just less than half have adopted a ‘hybrid’ model of publishing, whereby they make papers immediately free to read for a fee if a scientist wishes, but keep most studies behind paywalls. Under Plan S, however, scientists wouldn’t be allowed to publish in these hybrid journals, except during a “transition period that should be as short as possible,” the preamble says.”

While eleven scientific organizations support Plan S, other European science organizations are still on the fence. These organizations are unsure of how the open access would alter their funding measures and affect their research. The publishers are even more concerned, because it disrupts their entire business model. While they support increasing access to journals, they do not want to get rid of hybrid journals. The publishers think it is better if they all act as one large conglomerate, instead of smaller groups so their goals align. Moving to entirely open access would diminish the quality, peer review, and research of papers.

Plan S would mean the end to subscription paywalls and allow more access to scientific research. The bigger question is who will pay the bill and will research suffer in quality if it becomes “free”?

Whitney Grace, November 11, 2018


One Response to “The Journal Subscription Doomsday Is Upon Us”

  1. Robert Williams on November 12th, 2018 5:13 pm

    ALL OPEN Journals and Scientific discovery should be OPEN and FREE to the public at the time the Paper is Complete and published. PERIOD! The TAXPAYERS are paying for the research done in hallowed halls of academia. Myself have donated my body to research when I die, and the four open heart surgeries, broken neck and scalp cut open and my survival have enriched researchers in how an aging body can endure and what what make it endure through tough times. NASA/JPL keep their results PRIVATE for way too long. They are supposed to PROPERLY and Honestly report all data and papers for FREE within 6 months. I personally have caught Malin Space Systems withholding 76,000 Global Surveyor images from the public from late 1998 through May 2000. It took a Face -to-Face meeting with then 1st Lady Hillary Clinton to get those released within 36 hours. HiWIsh & HiRise was supposed to be “The People’s Camera” on the MRO, they have stalled acquisitions of the People’s choices and refuse to investigate the #2020CydoniaRover to land in the ONLY quadrant on Mars where for 50 years the map legend stated “Origins:Enigmatic” NOT even a single geological guess as how this area of Mars formed. in 2005 Dr Tonka left the “Origins:Enigmatic” but added several vague guess ‘in-liner pasted material’ aka “Photo-shopped” the data. With stem cell research and DNA changes the findings should be put to the test. The US Military, CIA, and other agencies have been experimenting on the US Public without our knowledge of consent since before WWI. These are all FLAT FACT BRUTAL TRUTHS which I have provided proof within my websites, and but the tip of an iceberg of “National Security Secrets” that have NOTHING to do with “Security” but in the Corruption going on within Government and the Military Industrial Complex and Academic Studies.

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