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

Tom Morris tfmorris at gmail.com
Sat Apr 6 21:24:06 UTC 2013

On Fri, Apr 5, 2013 at 2:00 PM, Heather Morrison <hgmorris at sfu.ca> wrote:

> Perhaps these examples will help non-academics to understand:
> If we want good research done on the public's perception of the
> performance of banks with respect to the 2008 fiscal crisis, who should
> conduct the research? Academics or government staffers with a primary
> loyalty to uncovering truth and serving the public, or the banks most
> responsible for causing the crisis in the first place?
> How about a survey on public perceptions of oil industry performance and
> the environment? Should British Petroleum, Exxon or Enbridge conduct the
> survey?

Wow, both condescension and bad analogies packed into such a brief passage.

The study didn't involve the "public" in any way, shape or form.  It was a
handful of the privileged elite who form a significant segment of Taylor &
Francis' customer base.  Not only do they contribute revenue directly
through author fees, but they influence the librarians who make
subscription purchasing decisions.  Taylor & Francis would be *very*
motivated to get an accurate view of the sentiments of this population
(whether or not, they'd share the complete view is another story entirely).

If you want a Jane Q. Public analogy, try digital music.  Who do you think
would be more motivated to get an accurate picture of the public's
attitudes toward purchasing digital music - an academic researcher or the
market researchers at Apple, Google, and the RIAA?

I'll repeat - the answer to studies that you don't agree with isn't
muzzling those studies, but to do your own studies and flood us with better
data.  Sitting on the sidelines carping about others isn't going to improve

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