As of this minute, 1890 scholars have signed a pledge not to cooperate with the publisher Elsevier. People are starting to notice. According to this Wired article, the open-access movement is “catching fire”:
• David Dobbs, Testify: the open-science movement catches fire, Wired, 30 January 2012.
Now is a good time to take more substantial actions. But what?
Many things are being discussed, but it’s good to spend a bit of time thinking about the root problems and the ultimate solutions.
The world-wide web has made journals obsolete: it would be better to put papers on freely available archives and then let boards of top scholars referee them. But how do we get to this system?
In math and physics we have the arXiv, but nobody referees those papers. In biology and medicine, a board called the Faculty of 1000 chooses and evaluates the best papers, but there’s no archive: they get those papers from traditional journals.
Whoops—never mind! That was yesterday. Now the Faculty of 1000 has started an archive!
• Rebecca Lawrence, F1000 Research – join us and shape the future of scholarly communication, F1000, 30 January 2012.
• Ivan Oransky, An arXiv for all of science? F1000 launches new immediate publication journal, Retraction Watch, 30 January 2012.
This blog article says “an arXiv for all science”, but it seems the new F1000 Research archive is just for biology and medicine. So now it’s time for the mathematicians and physicists to start catching up.