Forum on the Changing Standards for Academic Publishing

Via Slashdot, this forum from Nature Publishing looks to be an ongoing series of pieces on Open Access and the implications for publishing. From the introduction, Declan Butler says:

The core functions of publishing at its best share a commitment to impose intellectual rigour and high editorial standards on an exponentially increasing body of knowledge: to distil out the most important parts of that information, make it more accessible and place it in a wider context. As the flood of information grows, more and not less human editorial skill will be needed to focus and make sense of it, and the invisible hands of professional publishers and editors, with their associated costs, will if anything become more crucial.

Looks to be worth a read-through.


Was perusing the site a bit more, and found this FUD piece [PDF Warning] from Elsevier. Look particularly at pp 9-11.

Lots of good FUD in that piece. For example, "The quality of research articles might also be threatened as Open Access publishers come under pressure to publish more and increase revenues, potentially compromising the rigour of the peer review processes as they reject fewer articles."

Yeah. LOL. And commercial publishers aren't *more* likely to accept less rigorous academic pieces in order to make sure that they get text to the press? LOL

Speaking of FUD, I haven't had a chance to read it yet, but I ILL'd Bryan Pfaffenberger's "The Rhetoric of Drea: Fear, Uncertainty, and Doubt (FUD) in Information Technology Marketing" (Knowledge, Technology, & Policy 13.3 Fall 2000, 78-92). Looks interesting. From the abstract:

This article examines the nature and legality of FUD, which--as will be seen--is a timely subject. IBM may have been FUD's originator but its greatest practitioner is alledgedly none other than Microsoft, which (according to the the firm's critics) has repeatedly exercised FUD tactics in order to acquire and maintain its operating system monopoly. . . .