[open-science] Publishing and copyright licences: academics opt to keep control | News | Times Higher Education

Tom Morris tfmorris at gmail.com
Fri Apr 5 17:51:40 UTC 2013

Well, I'm not an "academic," but I'm going to weigh in anyway.

On Thu, Apr 4, 2013 at 2:19 PM, Heather Morrison <hgmorris at sfu.ca> wrote:

> First, the fact that this for-profit multinational conglomerate,
> informa.plc, working under its scholar-friendly-sounding 'brand" name
> Taylor & Francis, is conducting social science research which appears to be
> designed to inform public policy, and has control over distribution of
> surveys to 83,000 scholars.

I suspect that they actually view it as market/customer research, not
"social science" research and they certainly don't control distribution of
anything other than their own materials.  I'm sure those 83,000 people are
free to receive email and postal mail from whoever they like.

> It is completely appropriate for publishers to conduct research to improve
> their services. However, social science research should be conducted by
> social scientists. It is telling that we scholars have given so much power
> to this commercial company that they can now conduct research on us
> scholars in a study of a scale that few social scientists would be able to
> complete with.

Very strange to see an argument for less data on an open science list.  If
you think a different kind of study should be done than DO IT, don't try to
discourage others from doing their research (and graciously making the data

Of course, there are many more insights to be gained from the raw data
since they asked for organization names and email addresses and can look at
how the responders compare to non-responders as well as differences across
journals and disciplines, but I think it's great that they published as
much as they did.

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