Insights for Readers, Writers and Publishers
Chapter 11: Peter Binfield, PeerJ
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Co-founder and publisher, PeerJ,San Francisco and LondonInterview: Wednesday, August 1, 2012via Skype and email
Scholarly publishing has been a key site of change in publishing. This does not come without conflict. In the UK, for example, there has been a mixed reaction to new rules requiring all research to be published on an open access basis. As is often the case, it comes down to money. One argument in favour of open access is that the public already funds research through taxation, and should not be expected to pay twice. However, if the reader does not pay, the gap must be filled from another source.
At the time of writing, some models (commonly described as ‘gold’) propose to charge the author a fee, but an individual writer cannot always count on an institution to cover the cost. The ‘green’ model makes conventionally published texts available without restriction, typically after an embargo of not more than 12 months. However, professional associations that depend on reader subscriptions are worried that this may not be long enough.
In all these debates, attitudes towards editing can occupy a central place. Not all costs can be stripped away by the new digital platforms, and editorial mediation is one of them. The question arises: who will carry out acts of editing on academic texts, and how will that be funded?
The interview here with Peter...
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