Month: December 2016

How much does it cost to buy all my scientific articles?

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How much does it cost to buy all my scientific articles?

Disregarding the slight difference in exchange rate between the current Euro and USD the answer is around 1’200 USD/Euros. That is the amount of money I would have to pay to download all the scientific articles I have been involved in, – if I did not have access to a university library with subscription. I have signed off the copyright to many articles to a long string of publishers, Elsevier, Wiley, IEEE, Springer, etc., and I no longer control the publication.

I have added a good number of my articles to Wikidata including the price for each article. The SPARQL-based Wikidata Query Service is able to generate a table with the price information, see here. The total sum is also available after a slight modication of the SPARQL query.

The Wikidata Query Service can also generate plots, for instance, of the price per page as a function of the publication date (choose “Graph builder” under “Display”). In the plot below the unit (currency) is mixed USD and Euro. (there seem to be  an issue with the shapes in the legend)

article-prices

Something like 3 to 4 USD/Euros per page seems to what an eyesight averaging comes to.

Among the most expensive articles are the ones from the journal Neuroinformatics published by Springer: 43.69 Euros for each article. Wiley articles cost 38 USD and the Elsevier articles around 36 USD. The Association for Computing Machinery sells their articles for only 15 USD. A bargain.

It may be difficult to find the price of the articles. Science claims that “Science research is available free with registration one year after initial publication.” However, I was not able to get to the full text for The Real Power of Artificial Markets on the Science website. On one page you can stubble onto this: “Purchase Access to this Article for 1 day for US$30.00” and that is what I put into Wikidata. The article is fairly short so this price makes it the priciest article per page.

science-price

I ought to write something discerning about the state of scientific publishing. However, I will instead redirect you to a recent blog post by Tal Yarkoni.

“Overzealous business types”?

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The University of Copenhagen and its problematic dismissal of notable scientist Hans Thybo have now landed in an editorial of Nature: “Corporate culture spreads to Scandinavia“. Their concluding claim is that “the threat is the colonization of universities by overzealous business types” (against academic freedom).

Interestingly, though the majority of the university board members is required by law to be from outside the university (not necessarily business), the university management has usually an academic background. And this is also the case for the management around Hans Thybo:

  1. The head of department for Hans Thybo is Claus Beier, see “Hans Thybos institutleder om fyringssagen“. Beier is a PhD and a professor with a long series of publications in climate change as can be studied on Google Scholar.
  2. Dean is John Renner Hansen, see “KU spildte ½ million på konsulentundersøgelse af Thybo for misbrug af forskningsmidler“. He is also researcher and claims to have “Approximately 600 publications in international refereed journals”
  3. Head of the university is Ralf Hemmingsen that I know as a notable researcher in psychiatry.

I am not convinced by the arguments in the Nature editorial which sets up “business types” against academics. I think that the case should rather be seen against the background of the case with Milena Penkowa and another story around the possible abuse of research funds on the Copenhagen University Hospital, see “Ny sag om fusk med penge til forskning“.