Discussion ● Christine Asdal
It is surprising that the head of one of Norway’s leading educational institutions could not care more about the role that scientific journals play in contributing to quality assurance.
We are researchers It asks for very little column space to highlight what works well in the current research and funding system. To some extent, we write about what we test that works well. We speak very calmly about what we understand to be core values in our professional and research community. To a large extent, we take basic infrastructure for granted.
when we cross Our dissatisfaction, and the filing of our grievances, is often based on the belief that what is relatively good and well-done can become perfect. It’s time to change that. No less needed is the kind of action NMBU President Curt Rice recently gave at Khrono and on Twitter: We can just get rid of scientific journals. «[v]You’re just going to kick them out.”.
It is a nice The head of one of Norway’s leading educational institutions could not be more interested in the role that scientific journals play in contributing to quality assurance. Or to put it another way: It’s amazing that the dean of NMBU has taken on the role of white knight in combating savvy business and trade journals that make a fortune off our subscriptions and what are now called open access at exorbitant fees—without discussing what a number of researchers have long cared about: how to protect what is The main feature of the research – that published works are read and evaluated and preferably improved through independent reading and correction of others?
is that possible That the battle for so-called open access waged by Rice and others has already begun to erode the quality of work that makes it worthwhile even to describe something as research and a research finding?
Do we believe Gunnar Sivertsen in Nifu, (in Khrono) is exactly the dilution of quality that has occurred. He notes the development of a business model “where quantity trumps quality as an editorial guideline”. Sivertsen states that this is presumably an unexpected effect of the policy against open publishing.
the problem, bluntly said, is that an institutional system that makes something in acceptable research can get lost in a holy battle for something we’ve been tricked into thinking about open publishing. If journals are paid in blocks and buckets to publish your research so that everyone can read it freely afterwards, it’s not surprising that journals want to give column space to many and quickly, rather than using a long time for painstaking peer review, quality work and a high rejection rate for submitted work. It should not be questioned whether individual researchers are willing to pay for reading. And if you are going to pay dearly, you will also expect that the process will not take long. want to print.
A little bitReasonable researchers believe, if any, that the current system of peer review through scientific journals is perfect. Some areas of study can fare worse than others, and they certainly are worse. But wouldn’t it be irresponsible to go to great lengths to withdraw this arrangement without any suitable alternative on the table? Or without at least caring to discuss it?
Is it really A good alternative to the current system that you self-publish just the moment you think what you’ve come up with is good enough? Actually, this is how the main Curt Rice can be read. This is because he does not seem particularly interested in discussing quality or the arrangements and procedures for quality—or more fundamentally, what he thinks the research system of the future should consist of, and how we painstakingly get there and take care of everything that lies to the best of our ability.
the problem Today it is that the entire discussion about publishing has become entwined, and it is almost only now, about the different funding models of magazines and the sabers of open publishing about gold or diamonds or whatever the different publishing alternatives are called now. It has become a purely technical discourse in which, of course, more researchers must be involved. But we must also, to a greater extent and completely on our own, discuss what we value by doing the research, the systems we’d like to uphold despite their flaws — and the peer-review and quality-assurance infrastructure we can’t take for granted.
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