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« What is a reasonable financial functionning for scientific journals: the point of view of a scientist » Franck Laloë, laboratoire Kastler Brossel (ENS,

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Présentation au sujet: "« What is a reasonable financial functionning for scientific journals: the point of view of a scientist » Franck Laloë, laboratoire Kastler Brossel (ENS,"— Transcription de la présentation:

1 « What is a reasonable financial functionning for scientific journals: the point of view of a scientist » Franck Laloë, laboratoire Kastler Brossel (ENS, Paris) Evolution of scientific publications: the point of view of a scientist (14-15 May 2007) Le fonctionnement financier raisonnable des journaux scientifiques à comité de lecture: le point de vue dun chercheur

2 Outline of the talk I.Costs: peer review; subscription to journals II.The present situation: a real problem III.Solutions?

3 I. Costs; peer review and subscriptions to journals

4 Peer review is an useful process Selection of manuscripts Improvement of scientific texts Improve the circulation of ideas … even if peer review is not perfect, no better method has been found yet, and the scientific communities do not seem prepared to give it up.

5 The costs of a classical scientific journal Structure rédactionnelle (prép du texte, lecture, typo math = 1ère copie) 37% Version papier (achat papier, imprimeur) 17% Version en ligne 6 à 7% Distribution (envoi, routage) 7% Commercial18% Administration 9% Divers 4% J.M. Salaün, « Que cache l'augmentation des tarifs des revues scientifiques ? »

6 Peer review has a cost … even if referees and scientific editors (most of the time) work for free. The cost is mostly administration. The cost per article ranges between and Euros (*) This is about 1% of the cost of research in many fields of reseach (experimental research especially) (*) As a point of comparison, an open archives costs about 10 Euros per article.

7 The commercial market EC report; « Study on the economic and technical evolution of the scientific publication markets in Europe » (jan 2006) The market amounts to 6 to 9 Billion Euros per year In France, it is 100 to 200 Million Euros per year (roughly 1% of the expense for research) publication-study_en.pdf The prices of subscriptions to scientific journals are exploding! The increase is from 200 to 300% above inflation

8 II. Present situation

9 A real problem The scientific communication suffers from two problems: 1.Is also used for evaluation, which has different objectives and methods than communication 2. A financial problem: no real commercial competition exists, and the prices are not under control

10 Expenses of libraries See for instance the site of SPARC (Scholarly Publisching and Academic Resources Coalition) :

11 Price of subscriptions G. Chartron et J.M. Salaun, « La reconstruction de léconomie politique des publications scientifiques, BBF 45, 32 (2000) Difference between journals run by learned societies (APS, IOP, SFP, etc. ) and by for profit commercial publishers.

12 A concrete example: « CADIST sciences de la terre» in campus Jussieu Table 1 : Increase Table 2 : Graphics Montserrat Farguell et Claudine Kleb, « Etablir un plan rationel de désabonnement des périodiques », BBF, 45, n° 05, 108 (2000).

13 The problem is not mastered Attempts are made to create consortia But competition does not really work in this domain (*) (*) EC report; « Study on the economic and technical evolution of the scientific publication markets in Europe » (jan 2006) (**) the situation is better with journal run by learned societies Negociations with publishers are not satisfactory Commercial publishers (**) have a strategy of bundling and pluri-annual contracts

14 ULB (Université Libre de Bruxelles) Au cours des 30 dernières années, les prix des périodiques scientifiques nont cessé daugmenter. De 1975 à 1995, les prix ont excédé lindice dinflation de 200 à 300%, dépassant largement lévolution des budgets des bibliothèques, plus lente encore que celle des budgets alloués à la recherche dans les institutions académiques. … Parallèlement, face aux surcoûts engendrés par les versions électroniques, les bibliothèques se regroupent en consortiums pour partager les bénéfices de laccès électronique et renforcer leur pouvoir de négociation auprès des éditeurs. En Belgique francophone, les bibliothèques universitaires ont ainsi créé la Bibliothèque Interuniversitaire de la Communauté française de Belgique ( BICfB) afin de négocier ensemble l'achat de ressources électroniques. … BICfB On remarque que sous leffet des contrats pluriannuels, linflation moyenne annuelle des prix des périodiques tend à se stabiliser entre 6 et 10%, un taux qui reste néanmoins supérieur à lindice dinflation des prix. documentation/index.html

15 III. Possible solutions? Open Acess Publishing? Maybe a solution in some partiuclar cases Open Archives: yes What the scientific community should do What the institutions should do

16 Open access publishing In Open Acess Publishing (OAP), the traditional scheme (open, pays) is replaced by (pays, open) Two financial models: « reader (library, consortium) pays » « author (institution/consortium) pays » « Hybrid financial model »: if the author pays, his/her article becomes open access. APS, Springer, etc. Almost nothing is changed to the operation of journals, just the billing process. The real costs are almost the same. The only real question then is balance in the negociations and competition: will consortia of authors be more efficient than consortia of readers or libraries?

17 Will OAP help? No consensus In OAP, the financial control is put right at the source of the process; the need for publishing of researchers is as strong as the need for reading. Maybe it sill help in some cases: Life Sciences (PMC, Plos; physics (NJP, SCOAP initiative in CERN) Probably not a general solution

18 Open archives Based on self archiving by researchers and laboratories, but also sometimes institutions Provide a free access to many scientific articles in one single place, but not with the organization of journals in journal issues, etc.. Just juxtaposition of texts put side by side.

19 Will OA help? Probably yes, because: They separate the logical steps of the process: communication, peer review. They reduce the monopoly of commercial publishers … but their purpose is not to kill journals! They are complementary of journals: help to the refereeing process, possibility of epijournals, etc.. Probably worthwile generalizing to all disciplins

20 What the scientific communities could do Be aware of the problem of prices: a journal that is freely readable from a laboratory is not necessarily free! it has been paid by research (taxpayer) money at some stage Authors should choose journals that are compatible with open archives (most of them are now) They should be more careful when they sign copyright transfer forms. The editors have only the right that authors transfer to them! Organize themselves better (role of learned societies)

21 What the institutions could do Be more firm in negociations. Not hesitate to cancel subscriptions in some cases and use more systems such as « inist ». Strongly encourage the use of open archives. Not hesitate to repeat the encouragement until the process is really afloat! Discourage researchers to sign unfair copyright transfer forms: see example of MIT and SPARC

22 MIT (1)

23 MIT (2)

24 SPARC (Scholarly Publisching and Academic Resources Coalition)


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