Gates Foundation mandates open access for all the research it funds




I will enjoy this delicious irony just as soon as I stop applauding.


Dammit Bill why you gotta make it so hard to hate you.


Great news. But the tricky bit is that to publish in open access journals can cost a couple of thousand bucks for a single paper. Funding agencies will often encourage or even mandate open access publication, but not necessarily include funds for the researcher in the budget to do that. So hopefully the funding from the foundation will take this additional expense into account.


Reading all the way through to the third sentence was too much trouble, huh?


The Bill and Melinda Gates foundation is making a step in the right direction - what we want to see is high quality work with CC-BY licenses, and this work indexed to be searchable. Nature, Science, Cell are prestige enough to dictate terms at present - unofficially they make about $50K per article from selling the magazine subscriptions - but for instance Nature Communications is entirely open access and they charge about $3K up front if they accept an article. They’re web-based only, so the costs of publishing is rather low. I am interested to see what happens - likely that open access has an advantage because it is more highly cited than closed text. The number of citations matters for academic promotion in terms of h-index : You have h papers which are each cited at least h times. Publishing in an ignored journal is counterproductive. There is also a value in an edited magazine in the sense that the editors curate the articles - so a particular issue of a journal can present the state of a field of research with a dozen articles from different groups - this is enormously simpler than searching through the manuscripts on the websites of each group, and it adds value to the field of science being described. What you would like is a way of letting the information to be free once it is validated, without totally removing financial support for the editing process


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