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Current issue of Nature (495: 7442 / 27 March 2013)

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    William Eaton

    Special Issue on Open-Access Publishing and Related Issues. I quote below from the editors’ description of the contents. Focus is on the “hard” sciences, but much of the thinking applies as well to those of us in the “easy” (?) sciences (or who are trying to escape the maw of modern empiricism). Best, Wm. Eaton, Zeteo


    In this special issue, Nature explores the changing landscape. A News Feature weighs claims that online, author-pays publishing can drastically cut costs (see page 426). Several authors discuss the nuts and bolts of making open-access publishing work well — including copyright pioneer John Wilbanks on open licensing agreements (see pages 440 and 442). A report explores the dark side of open access: publishers whose tactics lead authors to feel disgruntled or duped (see page 433). And a Careers Feature offers advice for researchers trying to balance prestige, cost and career implications in deciding where to submit manuscripts (see page 539).

    The special also looks at broader aspects of publishing. Information scientist Jason Priem describes how the concepts of journal and article are being superseded by algorithms that filter, rate and disseminate scholarship as it happens (see page 437). A News Feature investigates how some university libraries are reinventing themselves to help scientists to archive and make accessible a new kind of publication: data sets (see page 430). And Robert Darnton, director of the library at Harvard University in Cambridge, Massachusetts, talks about the soon-to-be launched Digital Public Library of America, which could ultimately hold 5 million books (see page 447). Science itself is changing rapidly; the means by which it is shared must keep up.

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