Some introductory reading material

As a starting point for discussion for our working group, below is a mildly curated list of links I recently had folk at NCEAS read before a discussion on open publishing. I’m accompanying it with the list of questions I asked the postdocs to think about when reading them. Some of this is outdated now that, for example, the RWA has been pulled. Still, it is useful to go back and read.

Questions to Ponder

1. Do we need a change our model of scientific publishing? Why?

2. What needs to change?

3. Are scientists/ecologists ready for a change? Are we too conservative or slow to adopt change in general, open access in particular? I.e., good in theory, doesn’t work in practice? (

4. What are the differences between commercial (e.g., Elsevier) and non-profit journals (e.g., ESA) that affect the exchange of scientific information ( There does not appear to be a difference in quality as measured by the number of citations (

5. Do commercial journals offer us something that non-profit journals do not? Prestige? What about differences between ESA and PloS (high costs put on author) models?

6. If the exchange of information is better served by open access, should we refuse to review for commercial journals?

7. Is there a difference between exchange of information for the sake of the discipline and personal academic success?

Resources on Open Access

The Issue at Hand
An Introduction with some Humor

The Research Works, H.R. 3699 Act & Responses from Scientists

ESA’s statement on Open Access back in Jan (that some on Ecolog-L were not too happy about)

A Pledge to Not Publish in Elsevier Journals (e.g., TREE) with a lot of folk signing on

Further Meditations
Academic Spring?

Comments from Michael Hochberg

Do publishers add value? Nature says yes.

Publishers need us more than we need them

Oh, just go and read Michael Eisen’s blog already. I mean, he co-founded PLoS!


Federal Research Public Access Act, or, Scientists Strike Back. #FRPAA

Beyond Academic Journals

What Math and Physics have been doing for years

Nature Preceedings

Faculty 1000 new open access publication:

Something Wholly New? AKA what our working group is all about.
Gratuitous self-link

Hello everybody!

Welcome to the Open Publishing in EEB (and other disciplines) blog. This blog will be a place for our working group to collect links to helpful readings, post our own thoughts and ponderings, and generally discuss what we want the future of publishing to look like in Science. We’ll begin with some introductory readings and

Chris and I will post here weekly or more frequently, so keep an eye out – either follow the RSS feed or have new entries emailed to you or do whatever it is you do to keep track of a blog. You are also welcome, nay, encouraged to post here as often as possible.

I’ll start with some introductory readings to get everyone on the same intellectual wavelength, and then next week we’ll begin the discussion in earnest with introductions, etc.

One thing to think about and discuss here. Right now this blog is private and only viewable to the working group members. As we go forward, though, we’d like to begin to open it up. Particularly as we begin posting things in here during the week of the working group, we thought it might be an excellent idea to open this blog up to the broader public for commentary, as the open science community is large and has some great opinions.

So, to discuss a) what do you think about opening the blog later and b) would you be interested in opening it now?

Also, for those new to wordpress, here’s a set of tutorials about how to use it.