Re: Is OA (Gold) really a desirable goal for scientific journal publishing?

From: Stevan Harnad <>
Date: Wed, 10 Jan 2007 14:12:10 +0000

On Wed, 10 Jan 2007, Prof. Tom Wilson wrote:

> This is a small point in the debate but, I think an important one: Steven Harnad
> suggests that part of the process of downsizing the publishing process is
> "offloading text-generation on the authors". In my experience a significant
> proportion of authors would need help to produce a well-written, properly
> punctuated and properly referenced paper.
> Although there seems to be a decline in copy-editing by publishers (already
> downsizing?) nevertheless what activity remains manages to improve a paper.
> Referees do not generally pay much attention to these issues, since they are
> mainly concerned with the technical quality of a paper and toll-access journals
> are unlikely to reject papers on these grounds.
> Leaving these matters to the authors seems to me to be a recipe for more badly
> written papers.

The question you are asking is about the degree to which copy-editing services should be
part of the quality-control service to which publishing downsizes -- will it be peer
review alone, or peer review plus copy-editing?

It seems to me the "market" can and will decide whether it wants copy-editing bundled into
peer review, or wants to pay for it as a separate, or wants to pay for it at all. Research
publications, after all, are written by researchers for researchers, so they should
probably be able to sort out forthemselves what they need and want. (Users want usable
articles; authors want happy users.)

Stevan Harnad
Received on Wed Jan 10 2007 - 15:01:48 GMT

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