Monday, February 25, 2013

Open access publishing and NSF

Recent news releases have reported that the White House has called for federally financed research to be available to the public in a reasonable amount of time.

A number of proposals are being floated around.

Many are convoluted.

The easiest? Have a federal fund that pays for open access.

NSF sponsored research generates 25-40K publications per year.

Open access publication for a paper costs about $1000. Sometimes its more, but the government could establish a government rate, just like with hotels.

Cost for making everything available $25-40 million.

Budget of NSF: 7 billion.

That's less than 1%.

NSF and the community shouldn't settle for anything less.

It might be thought of as taking money away from research, but all economists tell you that you continue to invest until the returns on investment are negligible.

The amount of scientific resources this would free up is immense. The benefits of open access aside, scientists spend way too much time chasing journals that don't have fees to get things published.

If open access is a good thing to do, then it should be funded above current funding.


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