Re: UK Research Assessment Exercise (RAE) review

From: David J. Solomon,. Ph.D. <>
Date: Thu, 28 Nov 2002 20:28:13 +0000

At 02:13 PM 11/28/2002 +0000, Barry Mahon ICSTI wrote:

>This whole argument (OA is better/cheaper/more efficient.....etc and
>misunderstood) runs the risk of becoming like politics and religion
>as subjects for argument, ideology replace reality. Despite all the
>hype, and noise scientists still seem to prefer the well known and well
>understood paths to publishing - at the moment.
>I would wager that they understand quite well the concepts and
>advantages/disadvantages of OA but so far they consider the tried and
>tested to be as good if not better.

This has not been my experience; in fact, just the opposite. In my
experience most faculty are fairly ignorant of open archives, the serial
pricing crisis in scholarly publishing and the inherent problems of a "pay
for access" publishing model. They are also pretty apathetic because they
are unaware of the problems and haven't through through the real potential
of electronic publication.

I am a medical educator and have given several talks on the topic and had
numerous discussions both among educational professionals and academic
physicians and the level of ignorance of these issues is always high. In my
experience once explained most faculty can see the problems with the
current system and the potential of electronic publication and open
archiving but as noted by Barry Mahon most remain skeptical and concerned
about quality, and maintenance issues of moving to an open access system.
The only group seems to be well informed and concerned not surprisingly are
the research librarians.

Maybe I'm pessimistic but I can't help thinking Max Planck what right.

    "New scientific truth does not triumph by convincing its opponents and
    making them see the light, but rather because its opponents eventually
    die, and a new generation grows up that is familiar with it."

Max Planck, "Scientific Autobiography and Other Papers", Williams &
Norgate, London (1950), pages 33-34.

David Solomon, Ph.D.
A-202 E. Fee Hall
E. Lansing, Mi 48824

(517) 353-2037 Voice
(517) 432-1798
Received on Thu Nov 28 2002 - 20:28:13 GMT

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