Carrot works better 2

July 13, 2007

So Marc Hauser and Ernst Fehr regard the review process as broken. This is the system whereby academics write papers at work and then hand over the copyright to a commercial publisher for free. Other academics review those papers for free. They are subsequently published in journals that might have an exorbitant subscription rate, but neither the original authors nor their institution receive any royalties. The profits go to the commercial company.

Rather than chastising overworked colleagues who are doing this unpaid review work, it might be better to question the whole process.

Personally, I normally publish in and review papers for journals produced by my learned society, the Geological Society. The journals are just as highly rated and I know that any profits go towards furthering the society's mission, which is "serving science and profession". Surely this is preferable to just providing a dividend for the commercial publishers' shareholders?

James S. Griffiths
Plymouth University

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