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2014黄涛时文阅读(六)

(2013-04-27 08:55:18)
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2014黄涛时文阅读()

Academic journals face a radical shake-up.

学术期刊面临彻底改变

    If there is any endeavor whose fruits should be freely available, that endeavor is surely publicly financed science. Morally, taxpayers who wish to should be able to read about it without further expense. And science advances through cross-fertilization between projects. Barriers to that exchange slow it down.

    如果这儿有人试图把成果免费公开的话,那这种试图一定是受到公众资助的科学。从道德上来说,纳税人都希望而且应该不再花额外的钱来阅读科学著作,并且科学进步是通过各学科之间的相互促进而前进的,但这种交流的障碍使这种得到减慢。

    There is a widespread feeling that the journal publishers who have mediated this exchange for the past century or more are becoming an impediment to it. One of the latest converts is the British government. On July 16th it announced that, from 2013, the results of taxpayer-financed research would be available, free and online, for anyone to read and redistribute.

    过去一个多世纪以来,人们的普遍感觉是期刊出版商调停了这种交流,甚至阻碍了这种交流。而最新的改变发生在英国政府身上,它在7月16宣布,从2013年开始,由纳税人资助的科研成果都会在网上免费公开,并且任何人都可以阅读和转发。

    Britain's government is not alone. On July 17th the European Union followed suit. It proposes making research paid for by its next scientific-spending round-which runs from 2014 to 2020, and will hand out about € 80 billion, or $100 billion, in grants-similarly easy to get hold of. In America, the National Institutes of Health (NIH, the single-biggest source of civil research funds in the world) has required open-access publishing since 2008.

    并不是只有英国政府这么做,1月17日欧盟也随之效仿,建议下一个科研经费周期(2014年至2020年用于研究的开支) 拿出800亿欧元(1000亿美元)来补贴类似易于获取资料的方法。在美国,国家卫生研究所(NIH,世界上最大的单一民间科研基金获取处)从2008年开始就要求开放出版业。

    And the Wellcome Trust, a British foundation that is the world's second-biggest charitable source of scientific money, after the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, also insists that those who take its shilling make their work available free. Criticism of journal publishers usually boils down to two things. One is that their processes take months, when the internet could allow them to take days. The other is that because each paper is like a mini-monopoly, which workers in the field have to read if they are to advance their own research, there is no incentive to keep the price down.

    仅次于比尔和梅林达·盖茨基金会的英国维康信托基金是世界上第二大科研资金获取来源,也坚持—要用我的钱就必须免费公开成果。而期刊出版商对此的批判常常归结为两点。一是他们对资料的处理要花费数月,实际上有互联网他们只需要花费数天。另一个原因就是由于每篇论文就像一个小型垄断,相关领域的工作者想要提升研究水平就必须得阅读那些论文,这样根本没有动机把价格降下来。

    The publishers thus have scientists-or, more accurately, their universities, which pay the subscriptions-in an arm-lock. That, combined with the fact that the raw material (manuscripts of papers) is free, leads to generous returns.

    因此出版商就把那些科学家—准确来说是那些付钱订阅期刊的大学牢牢限制住了,再加上原始材料(论文草稿)免费这一事实,这些常常为出版商带来了巨额回报。

    In 2011 Elsevier, a large Dutch publisher, made a profit of £768m on revenues of £2.06 billion-a margin of 37%. Indeed, Elsevier's profits are thought so egregious by many people that 12,000 researchers have signed up to a boycott of the company's journals.

    在2011年,荷兰出版商爱思唯尔(Elsevier)从20.6亿欧元的投资中获取了7.68亿欧元的回报—利润达到了37%,如此高的收益被认为太过分,因此爱思唯尔遭到了12000名研究人员的联名抵制。

    Publishers do provide a service. They organize peer review, in which papers are criticized anonymously by experts (though those experts, like the authors of papers, are rarely paid for what they do). And they sort the scientific sheep from the goats, by deciding what gets published, and where.

    出版商的确在提供服务,他们要对论文经行同业互查(尽管那些匿名点评的专家,比如论文作者,基本不会对核查工作收费),并且还要对论文进行分类和挑选,决定是否出版和在哪里出版。

    That gives the publishers huge power. Since researchers, administrators and grant-awarding bodies all take note of which work has got through this filtering mechanism, the competition to publish in the best journals is intense, and the system becomes self-reinforcing, increasing the value of those journals still further.

    这就给了出版商很大的权利,因为研究者、管理员和拨款奖励机构都在注意谁的论文通过了这个过滤机制,在最好的期刊上发表论文的竞争非常激烈,出版系统就变得更加自我强化,也进一步推高了那些期刊的价值。

    But not, perhaps, for much longer. Support has been swelling for open-access scientific publishing: doing it online, in a way that allows anyone to read papers free of charge. The movement started among scientists themselves, but governments are now, as Britain's announcement makes clear, paying attention and asking whether they, too, might benefit from the change.

    或许以后不会再这样了,支持开放科学出版业的呼声越来越强烈:把研究成果放到网上,让任何人都可以免费查阅。这个运动开始由科学家发起,但是现在政府也站了出来,比如英国政府的通告就很清楚, 它不仅在关注此事,还询问科学家们是否可以从这个变化中受益。

    The British announcement followed the publication of a report by Dame Janet Finch, a sociologist at the University of Manchester, which recommends encouraging a business model adopted by one of the pioneers of open-access publishing, the Public Library of Science. This organisation, a charity based in San Francisco, charges authors a fee (between $1,350 and $2,900, though it is waived in cases of hardship) and then makes their papers available over the internet for nothing.

    Dame Janet Finch的报告发表之后英国政府才发出通告, 这位曼彻斯特大学的社会学家建议鼓励一种商业模式,这个方法被一家开放出版业的先锋—公共科学图书馆所采纳。公共科学图书馆是一家位于旧金山的慈善组织, 它会向作者要一笔费用(1350至2900美元不等,尽管有困难会推迟),然后再把他们的论文在网上免费公开。

    For PLoS, as the charity is widely known, this works well. It has launched seven widely respected electronic journals since its foundation in 2000. For reasons lost in history, this is known as the gold model. The NIH's approach is different. It lets researchers publish in traditional journals, but on condition that, within a year, they post their papers on a free "repository" website called PubMed. Journals have to agree to this, or be excluded from the process, this is known as the green model.

    对于公共科学图书馆(PLoS)来说,它的慈善事业广为人知,并且做得很好,从2000成立开始,已经出版了7大类备受推崇的电子期刊,虽然由于各种各样的原因,它们都淹没在历史的尘埃中,这种方式被称为 "黄金模式"。国家卫生研究所(NIH)的方法不一样,它允许传统学术期刊发表研究人员的论文,但是有一个条件,就是在一年之内他的论文会在一家名为PubMed网站的免费"知识库"中公布, 期刊出版商必须同意这么做,要么就会被排除在该程序之外,这就被称为"绿色模式"。

    Both gold and green models involve prepublication peer review. But a third does away with even that. Many scientists, physicists in particular, now upload drafts of their papers into public archives paid for by networks of universities for the general good. (The most popular is known as arXiv, the middle letter being a Greek chi.) Here, manuscripts are subject to a ruthless process of open peer review, rather than the secret sort traditional publishers employ.

    不管是黄金模式还是绿色模式都涉及到正式出版前的同业互查问题,但第三种就不需要这样了。现在很多科学家(特别是物理学家)都为共同利益而把他们的草稿上传到由大学运营的网络公共档案馆中(最著名的就是arXiv,单词中间为希腊第22个字母),在这里,手稿都暴露在严格的同业互查之下,而不是被传统出版商私下分类。

    An arXived paper may end up in a traditional journal, but that is merely to provide an imprimatur for the research team who wrote it. Its actual publication, and its value to other scientists, dates from its original arrival online. The success of PLoS, and the political shift towards open access, is encouraging other new ventures, too. Seeing the writing on the wall, several commercial publishers are experimenting with gold-model publishing.

    一份被arXiv化论文可能会以传统期刊的出版而结束,但这仅仅只是为研究小组(论文作者)提供出版许可, 它的实际出版物,还有对其他科学家的价值和原始数据都可以在网上找到。科学公共图书馆的成功让其把政策转向开放阅览,这也鼓励了其他新的投资者。在看到这些"不祥之兆"后,一些商业出版商开始尝试以"黄金模式"出版。

    Meanwhile, later this year, a coalition of the Wellcome Trust, the Max Planck Institute (which runs many of Germany's leading laboratories) and the Howard Hughes Medical Institute will publish the first edition of eLife, an open-access journal with ambitions to rival the most famous journal of the lot, Nature. The deep pockets of these organisations mean that, for the first few years at least, this journal will not even require a publication fee.

    与此同时,在今年晚些时候,马普研究院(掌管着德国大量重点实验室)和霍华休斯医学研究中心将与维康信托基金会合作,出版首期eLife电子期刊,这份开放阅览的期刊有信心与它们之中最著名的《自然》竞争,那些财大气粗的组织甚至想至少在头几年不对期刊收取出版费。

Much remains to be worked out.

仍然还有许多要解决的东西。

  Some fear the loss of the traditional journals' curation and verification of research. Even Sir Mark Walport, the director of the Wellcome Trust and a fierce advocate of open-access publication, worries that a system based on the green model could become fragmented. That might happen if the newly liberated papers ended up in different places rather than being consolidated in the way the NIH insists on.

    一些人担心会失去传统期刊的内容治理和调查核实。甚至康信托基金会的主管和开放出版的坚定支持者Mark Walport先生也担心基于绿色模式的系统会分崩离析。如果新式宽松论文政策被某些原因终结而不是如NIH所坚持走统一合并的路子,这一切就有可能发生。

    But research just published in BMC Medicine (an open-access journal from Springer) suggests papers in open-access journals are as widely cited as those in traditional publications. A revolution, then, has begun. Technology permits it; researchers and politicians want it. If scientific publishers are not trembling in their boots, they should be.

    但是根据《BMC医学》(施普林格出版社的一份开放期刊)最近公布的调查显示,开放阅览期刊被引用的广泛程度和传统期刊一样多。所以一场革命已经开始了,不仅技术上可行,研究人员和政客也需要。如果传统科技图书出版商没有觉得胆战心惊的话,那现在就是时候了。

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