Wednesday, May 18, 2005

Scientific publishing is doomed.

So, maybe I've mentioned before that my paper still hasn't come out as an official publication, although it was accepted something like March 1st. Now, the journal that accepted it is owned by a giant conglomerate publishing company that now owns some large percentage of all scientific journals.

And they're a bunch of wankers.

Seriously, you wouldn't believe how clueless these people are. It's to the point where, more than once now, they have claimed not to have received an email from me regarding some niggly point about reprints ordering or authorship rights or something, and I've had to forward back to them not only a copy of my original reply but also their reply in response, indicating that, not only did they receive my response, they also responded to it .

Our fate is in the hands of complete morons.

What's even more incredible to me is the rates they charge for reprints and color figures. This is all coming out of taxpayers' pockets? And going directly to support these people who probably shouldn't be employed in the first place?

Really makes you think maybe Bridget Jones was one of the smarter ones after all!

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9 Comments:

At 7:14 PM, Anonymous GeneticMutant said...

I'm working on my first manuscript and plan on submitting it to an open access journal. The cool thing about these is once a paper is accepted it's published on the web immediately. I really think these open access journals are going to force companies like Elsevier to change their ways.

 
At 12:56 AM, Blogger Alon Levy said...

I've never published a paper, but I've read that it typically takes 4 months from acceptance of publication to actual publication.

 
At 7:08 AM, Blogger Orac said...

Four months would be fast. For scientific journals, six months from first submission to final publication (allowing for one resubmission, as few papers are ever accepted on the first go around) is probably about right, but for medical journals, it's not uncommon for the time from first submission to the time of actual publication to be one year (again allowing for one resubmission).

As for page charges, yes they are ridiculous. The page charges for Cancer Research, for example, are exhorbitant, as are the charges for reprints. And God help you (and your grant) if you want to publish color figures.

I never order reprints anymore now. I simply answer responses for reprints by e-mailing the PDF file containing the paper.

 
At 3:48 PM, Blogger Ms.PhD said...

i need reprints for job and grant applications, which are not all electronic yet. so it's not optional.

 
At 3:32 AM, Blogger Alon Levy said...

I'm not talking about the time between first submission and publication, but about the time between acceptance of publication and publication. I thought it took 4 months from first submission to acceptance and then 4 more from acceptance to publication.

 
At 2:10 PM, Blogger GrrlScientist said...

Those four months depends upon the journal and whether or not they LOST your revisions. (Speaking as a person whose revisions were lost by a journal widely known for being slow to publish anyway).

GrrlScientist

 
At 9:56 PM, Blogger Megan said...

Speaking as someone who has worked on the other end, it's true: there are many idiots in the field of scientific publishing (though, I'm choosing to believe I'm not one of them!). The first journal I worked for was very well managed with a large staff. It was an extremely professional journal that I felt proud to work for. The turnaround time, if I can remember, was about 4 months or so, though usually not longer.

The last journal I worked for before leaving the field FOREVER (yay!) was a horribly unprofessional organization. When I first joined, I was pretty much thrown in and the ONLY person in charge of the journal (they had other publications). There were manuscripts that had been sitting for A YEAR that had not yet been published. Granted, it's not a "true" scientific field (ergonomics and human factors), so the delay wouldn't be as horrible for the field as "regular" science (can you tell I'm not in the science field? LOL), but I was horrified when I started. I made some progress, but when I quit, there were still some that were lagging.

Too bad PDFs aren't an option for you. You're right, it's horribly expensive for reprints.

God I hated that job. My condolensces for your needing to put up with that crap.

 
At 10:00 AM, Blogger Adam Solomon said...

Don't feel bad that it hasn't gotten published yet--in astro, I don't even think it's a consideration that an article accepted in March will be published in May, so you could actually be lucky to be in a field where things get published so quickly.

As for the rest of your post......isn't bureocracy fun? :)

 
At 10:03 AM, Blogger Adam Solomon said...

As for GeneticMutant--Don't you have something like that in your field? In physics-related fields, at least (including mine), if you publish to any paper, no matter how big or how little, once it's accepted it's immediately available for free online at arXiv (www.arxiv.org).

 

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