There was an article on the BBC site, uh… several months ago (playing catch-up here) about a renewed push among the scientific community for open access to research results and publications.
The lack of such open access is for me a major pet peeve. The problem is simply this: all of the credibility is currently entrenched in old, slow, and expensive publishing houses. Journals take a while to build up a reputation, and nobody wants to publish in a journal with no reputation. It’s no good for one’s own credibility, and a sure-fire way to shoot oneself in the foot with regards to getting grant money.
Now, the Public Library of Science (PLoS) is making a little bit of head-way, but it’s taking a while to bootstrap for the reasons mentioned above.
So, enough complaining.
I have a plan. Unfortunately it’s in the early planning stages. It’s been stewing in my mind for 13 or 14 months, but I’ve finally put together an outline of the plan on paper, and will be running it by progressively larger groups of people, starting tomorrow with my lab. Once I’ve got the rough edges smoothed out a bit, I plan on posting it here. We need to move away from the outdated model that’s currently well-entrenched, and even unnecessarily emulated by PLoS. At the same time, scientific integrity must be maintained. It’s an interesting challenge.