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Way overdue, but I'm so glad it's finally happening. More Dark Brandon please.

https://www.science.org/content/article/white-house-requires-immediate-public-access-all-u-s--funded-research-papers-2025

Way overdue, but I'm so glad it's finally happening. More Dark Brandon please. https://www.science.org/content/article/white-house-requires-immediate-public-access-all-u-s--funded-research-papers-2025

14 comments

Good. If we paid for it, it shouldn’t be paywalled.

And the vast majority of researchers do not want their work paywalled; they want it to reach the largest audience possible, partly because you don’t go into research for the money (heh) but rather to create and expand knowledge, and partly more selfishly because the more readership you get, the better for your career.

As it stands open access journal articles cost a fucking fortune. Nature journals cost $11,000 per paper. I hope this mandate doesn't mean that labs have to pay $11,000 to publish their findings. I can see a lot of ways this could backfire badly.

One of the granting orgs I work with now requires that any research they fund be open access. I admire the sentiment, but functionally that often means that when we get published, we have to pay a high four figure open access fee to the journal. We can include that in the grant application, but total funds haven’t increased. So if you would have gotten €30k for RA time, travel for information gathering, translation services, and a workshop to refine the argument, now you get €30k to pay for all of that plus €6k in “open access” fees.

This is one of the biggest rackets out there. I’ve never figured out where all the money goes, unless it’s just pure profit. The authors do not make a cent (in fact are often charged.) The reviews are done for free. The desk edits are done by a paid employee, but a prestigious journal in my field might have one EIC and two or three assistants, who are often poorly paid interns. A friend just became an EIC, which requires a doctorate and extensive publishing experience, and pays about $70k (while requiring living in a very expensive major city.)

I spent months working on my first peer reviewed paper. A well intentioned relative who owns a business and has no clue about academia said “wow, you must be getting paid a lot to be putting this much time into one 7k word paper.”

Bitter laughter.

I think this is a great policy and it's about time. What a racket.