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Patrick Malone's profile photoEddy Shipman's profile photo
 
What about the growing trend toward "vanity press" scholarly journals (pay to publish)?
 
As an academic researcher, I am a fan of moving toward open access, and away from the stranglehold. But as the blog entry indicates, the situation developed quite naturally from the interests of the different players, and so it will be more than a little tough to break. Part of the problem is that somebody has to pay for it (this is not a defense of the current situation).

Many -- probably most -- open access journals charge author fees when they accept papers. In my field, the fees are typically upper triple digits. That is not high on the scale the big publishers have, but they are high to researchers or graduate students who do not have a source of research funding. With grant funding, the obvious source, getting ever more competitive, that isn't a good way out of the trap at a systems level.

One things I'm pushing in a small way in my institution is to build up a pool of funds for author fees. In the current economic situation, there's not much flexibility at the levels I work at, but that is something institutions could do at scale, and at least I'm planting seeds.

This does not solve the problem of impact factors and g-indexes being easy for tenure committees to evaluate, but it's one place to start bootstrapping a solution.
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