Note: This thread is related to #Coronavirus #COVID19

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mrgunn+ Your Authors @mrgunn PhD biomed to @mendeley_com to Director of #scholcomm at @ElsevierConnect. Into #openscience #altmetrics & reproducibility. My own perspective. Jul. 01, 2020 2 min read + Your Authors

Justin's mega-article on scientific publishing is out! Wish he would have focused more on how the value of publishers is illuminated by #COVIDー19, but should raise the level of discussion. Note that publishers do make pandemic research freely available! 

Key point from the article that could use some expanding. The scientific community has always needed registration, certification, preservation, & dissemination. Publishers fill these roles now & in the absence of publishers, these roles will still be needed.

Complain about profits if you like, but consider that you can find reliable, trustworthy, ethically-conducted, well-communicated research from hundreds of years ago. A profit buffer insulates against pandemic, war, tech changes etc so you'll still be able find them 100+ yrs ahead

Few institutions have the sort of stability that academia has & needs. How many only 20 year old blogs are still available? A journal can't be bullied the way @slatestarcodex was by @nytimestech. Will @github be the same even 10 years from now?

One nice thing about the deep historical perspective of @foxjust's article is that it shows the resilience of scientific publishing. Because Elsevier continues to invest in innovation, you can expect that however we publish in the future, Elsevier will still be there to support.

One other point, because he teed up the issue but didn't really discuss it: it's not crazy that researchers don't get paid for their articles. Researchers are paid by the public to do research. They don't have to make & sell widgets; society literally pays them to be smart.

In exchange for freedom from commercial pressures, they're expected to share what they learn back with the public. I think this is a great deal & that's why I got a PhD myself! I love that multiple someone elses does all this work so I can be free to do research.

Yes, assessment is broken & I've been working with #altmetrics friends for a decade to try to improve this, but I always saw publishing as my duty.

As the institution of the university is weakened by the pandemic & underlying social change, it's worth understanding that universities & publishers are there to support researchers. Universities provide infrastructure & reputation like journals do so researchers can do research

So yes, I'm long institutions, as they'd say at @business. There are criticisms to be made, but #bitfd folks must demonstrate basic awareness of the value of these institutions before they're even worth listening to.

Paging @ArtirKel @SamoBurja @jasoncrawford @The_Lagrangian @Ben_Reinhardt @alexeyguzey @s_r_constantin (see thread above, article in Bloomberg on scientific publishing)

You can follow @mrgunn.


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