Science ouverte - Open science
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Science ouverte - Open science
Cinq thèmes sont suivis dans ce scoop.it : le libre accès (Open Access), la science citoyenne (citizen science), la science en ligne (Open Science), la science 2.0 et les cours en ligne gratuits (MOOCs).
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Commentaire de Mike Taylor sur le texte de Chris Chambers

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MikeTaylor

23 January 2013 9:01amLink to this comment

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[I am the author of the original piece that this is a response to.]

My thanks to Chris for a thoughtful and sympathetic analysis of the difficulties we face in transitioning to the universal open access that all of us want. (All of us except ultra-profitable paywall-based publishers, that is.)

I have only one bone to pick with this response, and that is Chris's initial question:

Do scientists who follow accepted publishing practices deserve to be labelled "immoral", as Taylor claims?

As I clairifed in a comment, the intention of my original article was not to say that the individuals who allow their work to go behind paywalls are immoral people, but that the act it itself immoral. If that feels like a fine distinction, it's not. For a variety of pragmatic reasons, essentially moral people commit immortal acts all the time. At the trivial end of the scale, something as insignificant as not bothering to sort the recycling; at the other end, while no-one would claim dropping atomic bombs on civilian populations is an essentially moral act, many people would accept that in the context of WWII, the Hiroshima and Nagasaki bombs were justified or even necessary. (And please: no-one cite this as "Mike says publishing behind a paywall is exactly like nuking civilians"!)

So my goal in the original piece was not to castigate individuals as immoral people, but to push us all into deliberately thinking through the moral implications of our publication choices -- decisions that all too many scientists still make without thought for the accessibility or otherwise of their work. I stand by my original assertion that it's immoral to accept public funding to do research, then hide the fruits of that research from the public that paid for it. But that doesn't mean that I am "labelling" anyone. My apologies if that distinction wasn't clear.

To summarise the intent of my article: the decision of where to publish is a moral one. Please, all you moral people out there, make a moral choice.

(I have more to say, on the subject of seeking publication in "high-impact" journals, but I'll put that in a separate comment.)

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Those who publish research behind paywalls are victims not perpetrators

Those who publish research behind paywalls are victims not perpetrators | Science ouverte - Open science | Scoop.it
Chris Chambers: Labelling scientists who publish in traditional journals as 'immoral' only hinders the cause of open access publishing
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Belle controverse.

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