Plenary Session Presentations

Re: Electronic review of papers

Devendra K. Agrawal

On Tue Dec 15, R.M.K.W. Lee wrote
>As academics, I think we are often being taken advantage of by the publishers of scientific journals.  They charge us for submitting papers.  They charge us for publishing papers in their journals.  They charge us for the reprints and subscripions to their journals, and they charge even more for institutional subscription to their journals.  And yet, we review papers for them for free, giving them free time, and paying for the cost of fax and other expenses.  I do not mind that much if I were doing that for the journals sponsored by non-profit organizations such as American Heart Association, but I do not think it is right when we are dealing with publishing companies who are genertaing profits at our expense.  I for one would like to see the electronic version of scientific journals, using a similar peer review system, but without the current cost burdens of these publishing companies.  The electronic version should be accessible to everyone, so that we can achieve the goal of giving universal access to everyone on scientific discoveries.  This present Internet Congress is a good start in that direction. I think we should start our own internet journals.

December 15, 1998, Devendra K. Agrawal wrote,

I agree with Dr. Lee that most of the reviewers are sometimes being taken advantage of. However, I am not sure whether it is done by the editorial office and/or by the publisher.  I agree that the final cost of all the steps involved in the process should be borne by the Publisher.  However, I am sure several reviewers including myself have paid/are still paying the cost of photocopying, telephone, fax, etc. from our research grants.  Some of the journals advise us to keep track of all the expenses.  However, personally I find it very time consuming affair.
   I agree with Dr. Lee that if we are doing this job for a non-profit organization, we don't mind.  However, if we do such a job for money-making publishers, we should be compensated.The least they could do, is to provide the accessibility of the journals on the internet for free.
DK Agrawal

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