Scientific Publishing


Principle investigators:  Jorge Contreras and Michael Carroll

The “serials crisis” in scientific publishing, in which academic libraries across the world have been forced to cancel subscriptions to scientific literature due to spiraling subscription rates, can be traced to the significant copyright rights demanded by publishers from academic authors.  Current open access channels of distribution offer alternative approaches to scientific publishing, but neither the Green OA self-archiving nor the Gold OA author-pays models has yet achieved widespread acceptance. Moreover, recent proposals to abolish copyright protection for academic works, while theoretically attractive, may be difficult to implement in view of current legislative and judicial inclinations. Likewise, funder open access mandates such as the NIH OA Policy, which are already responsible for the public release of millions of scientific articles, suffer from various risks and political uncertainty.  We are actively exploring the contours of this debate and formulating proposals to address the significant risk to scientific research presented by the current dysfunction of the publishing industry.