Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Journal pricing and h-index

Prof. Balaram, in his editorial on journals, prices and related issues, raises many points. I could not agree more with the comment, "This concern about unreasonable journal costs is not widely shared in India..there is very little oversight in fighting rapidly increasing prices"
He is quite correctly shocked at the recent advertisement from a governmental agency asking post doctoral applicants to provide their h-index over the past five years. h-index was originally intended to evaluate the career of a research scientist and not look at the growth over five years, especially at the start of one's career.

Normally, this blog cites research articles but a research article on open access cites this blog !


Anonymous said...

open access and open science/research is the way forward.
in fact i think the IIXs should make it mandatory for the people whom they employ to publish their work either in open access journals or to make their papers open access through other means like posting a copy of the papers(and maybe with additional info/indexes) in some open access repo.
i find it strange that even the iisc repo asks for a 'rationale' for a noniiscian to download an eprint. its bad enough that iisc steals the farmers money to fund itself, and then doesn't allow proper access to the farmer if he/she wants to read some material(whether he/she may/maynot understand the content is secondary)

Anonymous said...

how are we able to read an article dated nov 25, 2011. maybe we have developed the sufficient technology to peep into the future \m/

Paresh Mathur said...

@Anon at 22,Nov, 11:24PM

How is IISc stealing farmers' money? They are allotted funding to do research, should you think that those funds (in their barely sufficient form) would be better used to fund farmers, you grossly underestimate the impact of research.

Secondly, there are legal issues in making a copy of your paper available. Though some journal copyrights allow you to put up a self made copy of your paper on the web, some completely and explicitly disallow it.

@blog post,

I would like to point out another matter here. We all know most of the journals are curated by the people who volunteer their services. It is considered an honor to be on the editorial and review committee of a journal. They don't really take any salary, and most of the formatting is done by authors themselves. All in all, cost of production of journals is quite less compared to what they are sold for. Although we can say that publishing costs money, the gap between production and sale cost is way too much.

This is not just limited to journal publications. Most of the conferences take as much as Rs 8000/- per author and it is compulsory to have at least one author register. The worst hit by this are students. Not every college in the country gives funds to cover these costs. There are students who have to bare all of these costs and it can scale very fast if you take into account traveling and accommodation costs.

Anonymous said...

@Mr Mathur

lol. you basically just answered your own question. since institutes like IISc are funded by the tax payer, every citizen of india must have 'free access' to view the papers published by this public funded institute. if it isn't available via the journals(due to the crooked policies of scientific journals), the paper must atleast be available freely via some form of a server/repo.

why should the tax that i pay goto an institute which isn't bothered about making the access of it's research open.

if there are legal issues, then the scientific establishment of india can fight these rogue journals. last i heard we are the 7th/2nd(size/pop) biggest country in the world.

also as you yourself mentioned that it is a mystery as to where all this huge amount of money charged by the journals end up?
it actually isn't much of a mystery because these journals are owned/controlled by europe/usa, basically who again fund the research. so the money is circulating over there, but over here it is basically just being siphoned out.
how many of these journals fund science research in india? it is the farmer who funds research in india.

if you are unable to comprehend the logistics and crookery of journal pricing, then i pity you