Access to the Literature: The Debate Continues [Introduction]

One jarring aspect of proposals to reform scholarly publishing is that, all too often, they implicitly consider ‘journals’ as a single homogenous entity, to which one universal publishing model can be applied. On the contrary, diversity is everywhere. In any discipline, journals range from high quality ‘must reads’ with high rejection rates which in turn result in higher costs per published paper to publications which add little value to the articles as submitted, and are read by few apart from the authors themselves.

Journals are also published by a range of patrons, from individuals, and commercial publishers, to learned societies who use publication revenues to support their community in other ways. Likewise, a journal might be run largely by scientists working for free, or by professional editors. Some are electronic only, some have print editions. The list goes on. Any discussion of publishing models must surely take into account this heterogeneity. There is no one-size-fits-all solution. —Declan ButlerAccess to the Literature: The Debate Continues [Introduction] (Nature)

Part of a forum on ways that new technology and the open-source philosophy are challenging the traditional methods of distributing (and making money off of) scientific knowledge. Via KairosNews.