open-source scientific journals

Michael Eisen on open-source scientific journals.

I heard an interesting story/commentary [RealAudio] on open-source scientific journals on Marketplace yesterday. I’m glad that they are willing to report on business models that are not focused only on monetary gain. I liked Eisen’s midwife analogy, too.

Scientific and medical research is funded through taxes, and print and online subscriptions to scientific journals are very expensive. Commentator Michael Eisen, co-founder of the Public Library of Science, explains the reasoning behind the launch of two new online biomedical journals and the unusual decision to make the sites available at no charge. “We’re upending the business model,” says Eisen. “Let the publishers become what they should be naturally: midwives to our research publications.” That way, he says, a thriving scientific publishing industry is maintained, but it has a free system of access that benefits all.

2 thoughts on “open-source scientific journals”

  1. Aha. That explains why, somewhere else, someone responded to an item about “open access publishing on public radio” saying they couldn’t find it on NPR.

    Marketplace is PRI (and not the only major public radio program from PRI)…but too many people just assume that Public Radio == NPR.

    [I’ve never found MarketPlace to be hung up on monetary gain; they seem to me to do a pretty good job of looking at marketplace issues in general. As the host said a couple of days ago, the show is not “Wall Street on the Radio.”]

  2. I love Marketplace… it’s one of my favorite public radio programs. It’s actually owned by Minnesota Public Radio (most well known for Garrison Keillor’s A Prairie Home Companion) and distributed by PRI. My only complaint about PRI’s website as opposed to NPR’s website is that they don’t have an archive search that goes across all of the websites for the programs they distribute. This makes it difficult for the undiscriminating listener to find information after the fact.

    Incidentally, my other most favorite public radio program is owned by MPR & distributed by PRI — The Splendid Table with Lynne Rossetto Kasper.

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