A Rant on Strawberries, Open Access Licenses, and the Reuse of Published Papers

The open access movement in scientific publishing had almost fully converted me.  I have been moving towards publishing more of my work in open access journals for several reasons.  1) The idealist in me likes the fact that anyone, anywhere, anytime can download and read my work free of charge.  Thus likely increasing public/layperson access as well as that of scientists and institutions in the developing world that might not be able to afford access otherwise. 2) The pragmatist in me has noticed than when I add up the open access fee vs. page charges and color figure charges, etc. in traditional journals, they are not all that different. For the most part any small difference there may be will likely be affordable by my research budgets.

Im still ready to make the move towards putting most of my papers in open access journals. I even recently signed up as an editor for the an open access journal (BMC Microbiology).  However in the last couple of weeks at least certain aspects, that primarily have to do with reuse of published papers, have come the fore that bother me.

Anyway, here’s the story.

A few years ago I had the opportunity to host a Ph.D student from Washington State University while she worked in my lab on the analysis of some soil microbial community data derived from organic and conventionally grown strawberry fields.  Long and short of it was we ended up with two pretty good papers out of the work, one describing the overall study in PLoS One (open access from Public Library of Science) and another more focused on the microbial community part in the International Society for Microbial Ecology Journal (from Nature Publishing Group, which features a moving paywall so older articles become free after a year or so).  The PLoS One paper made a bit of a splash, primarily among organic agriculture advocates, because in this case there were clear differences in the cropping systems.  These differences were pretty low hanging fruit so to speak, because the conventional cultivation used the rather extreme practice of fumigating the soil with methyl bromide in an attempt to kill off the all the microbes (good and bad) in the soil.

But thats another story.  If your interested in the details of the science, please download the linked papers (both are now available for free!)

Most open access journals also seem to have an open reuse policy vs. traditional journal where you must get the permission of both the authors and journal publisher to reuse the material (whether it’s just one figure or the whole paper).  I guess I assumed that by paying the open access fee we retained the ability to say yay or nay to reuse (or at least be notified).  Much to my surprise, that is not the case in many open access journals I recently checked out.  Both BMC Microbiology and PLoS one use a version of the same policy from the Creative Commons for example.

This is where the story converges, I promise.

While browsing through my Google Scholar profile page recently I noted this rather strangely formatted entry that features author names where the title should be.  Turns out this  links to a chapter in a recently published book titled Sustainable Soil Management “edited” by Deirdre Rooney and published by Apple Academic Press – CRC Press – Taylor Francis.  Actually I think Apple is the “original” publisher of the book and CRC/Taylor Francis are just distributors, but they are hopelessly inter-tangled so I’m not sure.  Judging by what I can see for free on the Google Books preview, this turns out to be just a lightly reformatted and retitled version of our PLoS One paper.  Not really much editing involved in the traditional sense of the word.

Here is what really irks me about this.  1) Neither I nor the corresponding author had any idea this had been (re)published until after the fact.  Had to run across it on Google like everyone else.  A simple email from the “editor” or “publisher” would have been nice to let us know that they loved our paper so much they wanted to disseminate it in this book.  2) The publishers are charging over $100 for this book.  This, when we already paid when we published this paper to make it freely available!  Not only are we not getting any kickback on this, I was not even sent a complimentary copy as is traditional when you publish in a book! 3) Maybe all the above would be OK if the book just did one thing.  Prominently state (maybe on the 1st page of the chapter and the table of contents) that this is a reprint from the PLoS One paper and cite/link the paper.  This would seem to actually be a requirement of the Creative Commons license linked above (however this is vague and open to various interpretations). Credit in the form of a citation is really the only thing I hope for in anything I publish. As a scientist this is a measure of the importance of the work and that the work is important to others. If the readers of the book don’t know how to cite the original article, it does me little good.  4) Unfortunately I cannot see the whole article on Google Books so I would have to buy the book in order to verify that the PLoS One paper is not credited/cited somewhere.  This is not going to happen. No way. No how. 5) Countless papers are retracted in journals each year where the authors reuse data without citing the original source.  People get fired for this.  I certainly would not want to be accused of this by my institution because an editor or publisher absconded with our paper for some book and didn’t properly acknowledge that it was in fact a reprint.

Anyway, Im not sure who to be more upset with.  The editor and publisher that (re)published the article, or myself for not noticing the reuse clause in the open access license.  From now on I vow that I will pay closer attention to this, and it may influence where I end up submitting future papers.

By the way, if anyone has paid for a copy of this book.  I would appreciate a scanned copy of the chapter…

–Note added 7/3/13–

Please see the comments section below for replies from the publishers and other interesting points of view. It seems there were oversights and errors on a variety of fronts.

Also I received an apology from Dr. Rooney.  Apparently she was misled by the publishers as well, and the publishers have failed to follow through their promise to contact us and give proper attribution. She merely agreed to write a forward to the volume and was not really the editor/selector of the papers included.  I would like to apologize to Dr. Rooney.  I SHOULD HAVE CONTACTED HER FIRST, rather than whipping off this rant/blog entry that partially blamed her.  My apologies.

CHRIS

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42 thoughts on “A Rant on Strawberries, Open Access Licenses, and the Reuse of Published Papers

  1. Be upset with the editor & the book publisher. They could at least have had the courtesy to contact you. The price they are selling that book is clearly ghastly and little to do with the material cost of the ink, paper and glue.

    I wouldn’t be upset at the Creative Commons Attribution Licence (CC BY). It’s all there, and clear in the terms and conditions. Tbh, I think it’s a good thing that content can be republish in part or in full *without* author consent. Sometimes authors tend to block re-use for no good reason – the CC BY licence stops this ‘author-blocking’ from happening.

    • No, im not upset at the CC licence, just a little annoyed that I didn’t realize this could happen. Seems at the least unprofessional that the editor/compiler didn’t even notify us. Maybe the CC licence should require notification, if not permission. If it is not attributed correctly then it would be illegal, but since I can’t tell for sure without buying it, this is also annoying.

      Also, to be clear, im not upset at Strawberries either…

  2. From the Google and Amazon previews, it appears that none of the CC articles (I’ve found another 2 in this volume) are correctly credited. I don’t believe that the closed access articles are correctly credited either.

    Other volumes published by Apple Academic are entirely made up of CC licensed articles, with a boilerplate statement on their copyright page, without links to the original place of publication. And of course they are charging large sums for those as well.

  3. It’s clear the editors of this book have (to put it mildly) been rather rude here. But what they’ve done is probably legal and in accordance with the terms under which your article was published. The CC BY licence requires attribution, and sure enough the work is attributed to the correct authors.

    But there’s a question here: the wording of the CC BY licence at http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/ says “Attribution — You must attribute the work in the manner specified by the author or licensor (but not in any way that suggests that they endorse you or your use of the work).” You could state (and PLOS should probably state in the article) that the manner in which they specify attribution requires not only authorship to be recognised but also the original publication in PLOS.

    The current PLOS wording on this is unfortunately a mess: “This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited”. This probably wants to say that attribution must mention both author and source (i.e. citation of original publication) but what this wording actually does, wrongly, is state that this is what the CC BY licence intrinsically requires.

    So PLOS have a bit of work to do to tidy this up.

    But back to Taylor and Francis: of course, whether or not what they did is legal is not the same thing as whether it’s right. Basic academic courtesy certainly would have required that they at least notify you, and a complimentary of the book would hardly be a stretch.

    • Hi – I think you hit on a very important point about attribution. Publishers using CC-BY need to be more explicit about the attribution requirements. The PLoS language isn’t as clear as it could be but I would argue that the book doesn’t meet the requirements since there is no attribution of the source – i.e. PLoS ONE. PLoS should require that something like the text below be at the start of the re-published article:

      Originally published as: Reganold JP, Andrews PK, Reeve JR, Carpenter-Boggs L, Schadt CW, et al. (2010) Fruit and Soil Quality of Organic and Conventional Strawberry Agroecosystems. PLoS ONE 5(9): e12346. http://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0012346

      • I certainly agree that the republisher has behaved in an extremely scummy way here. But because of the carelessness in PLOS’s wording, they have some wiggle-room. PLOS should say: “This is published under CC By, which allows re-use subject to attribution as specified by licensor. To re-use this, attribute as follows …”

    • [Although I work at Creative Commons, this comment reflects only my own opinions. I am not a lawyer and this comment is not legal advice.]

      This sounds like a pretty clear-cut case of someone not really understanding how the licenses work. Sometimes people get crazy ideas of what the phrase “the manner specified by the author or licensor” means. Just the other day, I saw someone interpreting that phrase to mean that they can require that only people with the same political views as them to use the content. It definitely does not mean anything like that.

      Take a look at the full legal text of the license, 4b specifically: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/legalcode

      It lays out what the attribution should include, unless the licensor hasn’t provided it: name (or provided pseudonym) of the author, title of the work, and URI of the work if applicable. So it’s not “whatever you want!,” but it’s loose enough to account for the fact that there are different standards for attribution in different communities and media.

      I think it’s often a good idea to notify someone when you use their content – and I’d say it’s certainly an expectation in some communities – but I think writing it into the license would be problematic for a number of reasons. For one, it would put the impetus on the licensee to go through the work of contacting the licensor, which isn’t substantially less work than putting the impetus on the licensee to find the author to ask for permission. That kludge of asking for permission is one of the problems that CC was designed to solve.

      Cheers,
      Elliot

      • I think I understand the reason for not requiring permission. What I would hope for is that it require proper attribution to the original article. This is what is important to me and I would think the original publisher of the work (in this case PLoS One) in order to show the importance of the works they publish.

    • I disagree here. This isn’t rudeness. It is, at most, an absence of politeness. The whole point of CC-BY is to explicitly allow and encourage remixing. What counts as attribution can be a little hard to fathom at first, but they really aren’t any different from what we do with citations. If you use someone’s work, you cite it.

      CC-BY simply makes it legal for “use” to include various blends of original and derivative material, up to and including copying the whole thing exactly.

      This isn’t what we are used to, but that’s the point. It’s different, and — in my opinion — better. If I share something, I want to do it whole-heatedly, or I probably shouldn’t have shared it in the first place.

      If one want to force people to ask permission, then one wants the power to refuse to grant that permission. If that’s what you really want, then you shouldn’t publish in a journal at all! Most closed-access journals require you to cede that power to them, and then they get to make those decisions based on their own interests. Open Access journals generally require you to waive that power altogether. Either way, you don’t actually have the power to restrict who does what with your work, but at least in the Open Access model, nobody else does either.

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  5. I just received a very sincere apology and explanation from Deirdre Rooney. Apparently she was misled by the publisher as well. She agreed to write a forward for the compilation, but that was all. The publisher (who may or may not be Apple but yet another separate group called ‘Vestal Creative Services’) picked the papers, was supposed to attribute them, and contact the authors. It appears they did neither of the latter.

    My sincere apologies to Dr. Rooney. I too am in error here. I should have contacted her first before ranting. Im somewhat new to blogging. Lesson learned.

    I have apparently caused a bit of a stir with this. I guess that was my intention. However I should have also been more careful.

  6. Dear Unhappy Academic Community!

    I want to step in and explain what happened here as best I can. I am NOT the publisher, but my company is the production company that compiled the articles included in this book. I’m terribly sorry about this situation.

    When Vestal Creative Services was hired to compile books for Apple Academic Press, we worked with editors who were themselves researchers in the various fields to select these articles. We had no budget to cover the costs of Copyright Clearinghouse (which is the route we would normally go), so we went with Open Source articles. We are a production company only (in other words, we’re a service provider; we have no part in the printing or distribution of the books and we make no income from their sale).

    Our understanding is that the books were intended for distribution to a very small international library market, the sort of book that generates no real commercial profit. I know the prices of the books seems to indicate that someone somewhere is getting rich off these, but that’s truly not the case. When you publish a book, the profits pie has to get cut into so many slices that by the time you’re done, no one is making any significant money. In this case, where total sales were around 80 books, all to the library market, the publisher has not yet made back the cost of production.

    But to move on to other equally legitimate concerns–per the Open Source license, these articles could be freely reproduced. The language on the journal websites reads like this:

    “The author(s) or copyright owner(s) irrevocably grant(s) to any third party, in advance and in perpetuity, the right to use, reproduce or disseminate the research article in its entirety or in part, in any format or medium, provided that no substantive errors are introduced in the process, proper attribution of authorship and correct citation details are given, and that the bibliographic details are not changed.”

    Since the publication of the book in which this particular article appeared, my company has come to realize that many authors do NOT understand the licensing terms when they agree to have their research published by the various Open Source journals. Currently, for the books we are working on now, we contact each of the corresponding authors for all articles selected by the editors for inclusion. We’re doing this as a professional courtesy, rather than a legal necessity, but we still believe it’s important. Out of hundreds of authors, we’ve only had one or two who asked us NOT to include their work, and in those cases, we dropped their articles from the book. In both cases, the authors later changed their minds and asked to be included after all.

    We include “How to Cite” information for all articles in the books we create. I have just learned from the publisher, however, that this information was mistakenly left out of the volume being discussed here, an error that occurred at the time of printing. (The printer inadvertently dropped one the final pages from the electronic file when creating the printed version). I am as unhappy about this as the publisher is, and probably very nearly as unhappy as you are! Apple Academic Press has just assured me that they are taking steps now to have the book reprinted immediately. And I will personally see to it that Apple Academic Press sends you complimentary copies once that happens!

    I understand the ongoing controversy over Open Source articles, and I’m aware of perspectives on both sides. If the premise is that scientific research should be freely available, then it makes sense to get it out in as many ways as possible–but the process of getting it out, does cost money!

    Be that as it may, as a production company, we have no control over what happens to our work once it goes to the publisher, but at this point, we’re only comfortable working with authors who have agreed to have their work disseminated in one more way. I am also very concerned about the professional reputation of our editors, who are not at fault here (nor are they profiting in any way from the sale of these books). Dr. Rooney contributed her efforts to these books in good faith, for very little compensation.

    I’m not sure if any of this will help all of you feel much better–but I wanted you to at least know that this book represents a human-error mistake, rather than an overall policy!

    Sincerely,

    Ellyn Sanna
    CEO Harding House Publishing Service

    • This article was not published under the license terms you quote. It is not the license used by PLOS One; Google pointed me to BioMed Central as using what you quote:
      http://www.biomedcentral.com/about/charter
      In the case of Christopher Schadt’s article, you have changed the bibliographic details by changing the title of the article, and by not providing correct citation details, i.e. not pointing to the original.
      Other articles in this collection come under other licenses, for example, the article Biochar: Carbon Mitigation from the Ground Up is licensed thus:
      “This is an Open Access article: verbatim copying and redistribution of this article are permitted in all media for any purpose, provided this notice is preserved along with the article’s original DOI.”
      http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2649247/
      You have certainly infringed the license by not preserving that notice, and by not providing the DOI.

      • Yes, each Open Source journal has its own language. We have done our best to comply with each on our citations page, which, as I said, was mistakenly omitted from this particular volume during printing. On these page, we always include the original title of the article, as well as the rest of the citation information. Mr. Kumar, CEO of Apple Academic Press, has promised to reprint the book immediately with the correct information included. Going forward with the books we are currently producing for Apple Academic, will take Mike Taylor’s advice and place all this on the same page with the article.

    • As nice as it would be if these journals were “Open Source”, they’re not (and even if they were, being “Open Source” doesn’t imply any particular license for re-use).

      Open Access articles, however, if published under a CC-BY license, require a particular form of attribution when republished (which depends on the license text of each article, but must be at least author name and title of the original article, plus extra wording for derivative works such as these), which wasn’t present in this book.

      While Vestal Creative Services “has come to realize that many authors do NOT understand the licensing terms”, I think this post and comment makes it clear that the company does not entirely understand the licensing terms, either.

  7. Dear Dr. Schadt,

    We regret very much that proper accreditation was not given to you and the other authors whose work was included in this volume. It is not our policy to ever print authors’ work without this. In this case, a print mistake occurred. We are taking immediate steps to have these books reprinted with the missing page included, as it should have been originally. . On another note, we are very much interested in working with the scientific community to publish current research, and we are actively looking to acquire authors who would receive traditional royalty-payment contracts. Please don’t hesitate to contact us if you have any interest in working with us in a way you might find more financially rewarding and personally satisfying. In the meantime, let me know where I can have complimentary books shipped to you and please accept my sincere apologies for our mistake.

    Ash.

    • I really don’t publish in books anymore. Mainly because they rarely get cited. I had a colleague (Tom Bruns at Berkeley) put it to me something along these lines a while back “If you have something to say, you might as well stand on a roof and yell it rather than publish in a book chapter. It would have an almost equal chance of of being cited!”

      • How can we make sure authors’ articles are more likely to be cited properly? We originally included a “Permissions” page at the back of the books, which we have now changed to a “How to Cite” page (which is listed in the Table of Contents). Would it be better yet to have a “How to Cite” line at the end of each chapter? Let us know your ideas. We want to make this work better!

      • Probably would be best to put a disclaimer at the beginning of each chapter just under the abstract. Something along the lines of “This chapter originally appeared in the article below. If you want to cite this work, please use this original citation” followed by the citation. Since Google books includes the first page of most chapters (not always the last) that would be most helpful i think. Also after the table of contents would be good.

      • “Probably would be best to put a disclaimer at the beginning of each chapter just under the abstract. Something along the lines of “This chapter originally appeared in the article below. If you want to cite this work, please use this original citation” followed by the citation.”

        Agreed. This would be the proper way to proceed.

    • Thanks for the post! Sorry, not sure what happend to the pingback. My settings appear to allow it but I have been struggling to keep up with the conversation generated here as blogging for real is little new to me (mostly my page is a ‘lab news’ type of page that is pretty bland), and I also had a bunch of training and meetings to attend to today. I may have pushed the wrong button or something in my rush to respond to the blog sudden increase in blog traffic.

      • Well, other pingbacks are appearing now, so it’s likely I pushed the wrong button or something!

        Thanks for posting my comment with link in lieu of a pingback.

        😉

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  10. By chance I just came across another book by “Apple Academic Press”, distributed by CRC Press, a member of Taylor & Francis Group”. This book, entitled “Prion biology – research and advances” and edited by Vincent Béringue (ISBN 978-1-926895-37-6), seems to follow the same pattern. The fact that all chapters are reprints is not obvious to unsuspecting readers. Indication of the sources can be found only at the end of the book, and is hidden in a section called “Author’s notes”. Within this section, indication of sources for each article is hidden in a paragraph called “Acknowledgements”, which first and foremost comprises the acknowledgements from the original article, with the bibliographic details appended. Why should publishers hide this kind of information in such a way?

    • Hmm. This is looking more and more like the proverbial Predatory Publisher. I wonder if Taylor & Francis understand what these people are doing? If so, I wonder if they approve?

      • “Predatory” implies consumption of a helpless prey, which I guess in this case translates into some sort of motivation of financial gain at another’s expense. I understand that there’s a great deal of satisfaction in this kind of group paranoia–but again, as I posted earlier, there was no motivation to take advantage of authors, and very little financial gain at all for anyone involved. When authors agree to have their work published by Open Source journals, publishers assume that authors are aware that they have made their articles freely available for republication, that in fact that was their intention by publishing with an Open Source journal. As the company that created the pieces you outline above as obfuscating the truth for “unsuspecting readers,” I can tell you we were not seeking to hide the accreditation information, and if it will make authors happier, we are glad to change the placement of the accreditation lines. Creating books from previously published articles is a decades-old, if not centuries-old common practice in the academic publishing world. It’s not an Open Source issue, and as jbrittholbrook commented in his blog, linked above, authors are equally unhappy when publishers use Copyright Clearinghouse. In both cases, someone like me, who has the job of working with editors to compile articles, we are simply following the directions provided within each journal for how to reuse their articles. We are happy to change the format of how we provide information, a lot less happy about being accused of taking part in a “predatory” practice.

      • Hi, Ellyn. I’ll be writing about this more extensively elsewhere (and I’ll link to that post from here when it comes up). But I will say this: your publisher behaved very badly, and I think it’s unseemly at best for you to start talking about “group paranoia” as though you are the injured party here.

        Also: you can talk all you want about “very little financial gain”, but when a book sells for $100 and pays the authors nothing, someone is making a killing.

      • I’ll respond to your question regarding money, in the interests of providing some information as to how the publishing industry works, and then I’m going to bow out of the discussion.

        So, first, when you see a list price of $100 (for example), you can divide that amount by half as being the income that a publisher actually receives. Distributors (whether that’s Amazon or some other distribution company) consistently take 40-60 percent of the list price to cover their costs and profit margins (whatever they are–I’m not familiar with that end of the business). So now the publisher is left with $50 per book, which still sounds like a lot, I know. And it would be if we were talking about a Stephen King book or Harry Potter, or some other trade book that sells thousands if not millions of copies. In this case, though, it’s what’s called a niche market–the books are only sold to academic libraries, and no one expects more than a hundred or so copies to be sold. In the case we’ve been discussing, I’m told the book sold 70-some copies, and it’s unlikely to ever sell more than a few more copies. So if we say that ultimately, the books sells 80 copies, that means the publisher now has an income from that book of $4000. Printing the book cost more than half of that amount, so now we’re down to $2000 or less. That amount has to cover the fees paid (in this case) to the editor, to my company, the cover designer, and to the production company that redrew all the images (to make them high-resolution for printing), laid out the text, and created the index. I’m not the publisher, so I don’t have the exact numbers for the costs for this book, but we provide these services to other publishers, so I can guess that altogether it comes to more than $1500. So now, if the publisher has any profit margin left at all, it’s not much more than $500 for this particular book—and from that he has to still pay the costs of warehousing and shipping the books. This book has hardly been a great financial success!

        Now let’s go back and say that the authors HAD BEEN offered a standard royalty contract on each of their articles (despite the fact that they’d already agreed that they wanted their work to be considered Open Access). A typical royalty agreement might be 7% of the publisher’s net sales (the amount that the publisher receives after the distributors take their cut). So at most the authors’ total lifetime royalty would have been $280, which would then have been split between the more than 40 authors whose research was included in the book. They would each have received $7.

        And now, I’m unsubscribing to this post. Good luck, everyone. All the best!

      • To me it is less about who profits or not. I dont have an intrinsic problem with this, but in the case of publishing in an open access journal, you have to understand that many authors are making a principled decision. The primary principle being that the work, often already having been payed for by taxpayers/public, should be made freely available.

        However when you combine this with the lack of proper source attribution (unintentional or not) it becomes really bothersome. We have now made the article available for free AND the one thing we still hope for is that it will be used and recognized. In are case, unintentional or not, there is NO source attribution.

        In my mind, if you are not going to provide original content in your book, this source attribution should be made as obvious as possible in these compilations. Should be on the table of contents and at the top of every article. Not buried in acknowledgements or on the last page of a book. To do otherwise is to leave yourself open (again intentional or otherwise) to the suggestion that the publisher is trying to hide it.

        This is partially also for selfish reasons. This recognition of citation is important to our careers. Putting it out in a book could help the work seen (however who goes to library and checks out books anymore?). However if the publisher does make it obvious to cite the original article, the value of that recognition factor in the form of a citation goes down. The original article has 52 citations in the past 2.5 years according to Google Scholar. Pretty decent. Book chapters I have been involved with (havent done one since 2008, because they dont get read/recognized/cited) usually have less than a dozen at best, with some at 0-3. Perhaps this chapter in the Sustainable Soil Management book will get cited once or twice. To me this as not as valuable as having one, more highly cited, paper.

      • Then how is Indiana University Press consistently able to sell its niche-market hardback edited volumes of original content for $40 or so on Amazon? See for example:
        http://www.amazon.com/Pursuit-Early-Mammals-Life-Past/dp/0253008174/
        http://www.amazon.com/Tyrannosaurid-Paleobiology-Life-Michael-Parrish/dp/0253009308/
        http://www.amazon.com/Thunder-Lizards-Sauropodomorph-Dinosaurs-Life-Past/dp/0253345421/
        http://www.amazon.com/Biology-Sauropod-Dinosaurs-Understanding-Giants/dp/0253355087/

        Anyway — the money’s not really the point, as I think everyone’s agreed.

  11. In our role of compiling the material, we will do our best in all future work to help authors get cited by placing the information somewhere it’s as obvious to the reader as possible!

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  13. Man, don’t you hate these predatory publishers? Out there preying on us helpless researchers, robbing us of our small chances at fame and fortune by putting OUR research into the hands of librarian patrons! Like Mr Taylor, I burn with righteous indignation. After all, we did NOT become researchers so that our hard-earned knowledge could be spread freely to readers. Unfortunately, however, when it comes to predatory publishers, it appears to me that Apple Academic Press is small potatoes. It’s the Pearsons and the Wileys and the Elseviers that are the real danger to us helpless academics, because these big publishers produce THOUSANDS of books that are collections of articles. And they too hide deep in the back matter the despicable fact that their chapters were compiled from other previously published sources, including Open Sources. But wait, there’s more, there’s worse! In fact, now that I look, my shelves are FULL of books that are made from previously printed materials–collections of science fiction stories, reprints of classics, and compilations of sociological articles to name just a few–their contents all available elsewhere. And ALL of them, each and every one, have BURIED their permissions pages at the BACK. Some of them don’t even HAVE permissions pages. Clearly the publishers of the world have formed an unholy alliance, a brotherhood of predators. But wait! There’s STILL more. I just checked my BIBLES–HOLY SCRIPTURE!–and can you believe it? Not one of the various Bible publishers makes any mention of the fact that the contents of that particular book are freely available online. In fact, these predatory Bible publishers don’t provide ANY credit lines, not even buried in the back matter. By implication, they are claiming that THEY wrote Holy Scripture! So I say, let’s boycott them all. Let’s stop buying books and making these predatory publishers rich. Let’s keep our research to ourselves–or maybe, if we’re feeling particularly generous, we can shout it from the rooftop as someone on here suggested. Really, though, face it, sharing it with the world is the LAST thing we want, not if it doesn’t bring us fame and fortune. So come on, folks–join together with Mr. Taylor and me, and lets spend hours of our time discussing this outrage. After all, as prey animals we’re just not as smart as the predators, so our only hope lies in sticking together. We’re like the American bison, stampeding across the prairies….

    • That’s Doctor Taylor, thank you.

      “It’s the Pearsons and the Wileys and the Elseviers that are the real danger to us helpless academics.”

      No argument here, at any rate.

  14. Pingback: bjoern.brembs.blog » Publisher selects the best open access science – authors complain

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