Saturday, 10 November 2012

"More Creative Thinking about Education, please"

It is no accident that the core subjects for the English baccalaureate ('Exam reform will destroy UK's creative economy' Guardian, 3.11.12) coincide with the 'facilitating' subjects recommended by the Russell Group (Making your post-16 subject choices). The narrowing band of approved subjects for post-16 and 'elite' university study not only omits creative practices, but their history and theory, for example, art and design history, as well as any broader analyses of culture and society (media studies; sociology). The problem for the present government, and for conservative bodies like the Russell Group, is that those so-called soft subjects have the potential to construct convincing critiques of their educational and social values.
My letter published in The Guardian Tuesday 6 November 2012.

Wednesday, 12 September 2012

Publish with SAGE Open - at a cost!

SAGE is instituting a system of so-called open publishing that will exclude anyone without university or other funding - and why should academic authors pay to be published?? They should be PAID for publishing.

"Submit your manuscript to SAGE Open—an open-access publication
Publish in SAGE Open, SAGE's groundbreaking, open-access publication of peer-reviewed, original research and review articles, spanning the full spectrum of the social and behavioral sciences and the humanities. More than 1,000 manuscripts have been submitted in the last year.
Submit your manuscript through SAGE track, SAGE's web-based peer review and submission system, powered by ScholarOne Manuscripts™. Submitting your manuscript is free. Only if your manuscript is accepted will you pay the author acceptance fee of $395 (discounted from the regular price of $695)."

Wednesday, 22 August 2012

Open access publishing: don't throw out the baby with the bathwater
There is a warning about opportunistic practices in open access publishing targeted at vulnerable scholars at However, although the article has some relevant warnings it appears to join in with a reactionary response to the important recent arguments that traditional publishers are too dominant and too exclusive, especially with regard to independent scholars.
Without the institutional support paid for by universities' large fees to publishers, independent scholars have been denied online access to these traditional journals by their publishers (let's forget the riciculous fees publishers would charge them of £23 per academic article).

Thursday, 19 July 2012

Guardian Letters: 
Open access plan is no academic spring

Government plans to change the funding system for scientific publication have recently been aired which suggest that the cost of publication should be borne by authors and that the cost per published article (already smartly acronymed as APC=Article Processing Charge) would be about £2,000.
The Guardian published five letters on this issue today, including mine mentioned in the previous post:

Free access to British scientific research may be a laudable goal, but surely the APC to be paid by authors of £2,000 per article is a misprint – you mean £20, don't you, which I as an academic author could afford? But why should academic authors pay anything at all? They should bepaid for their articles. Furthermore, if the plan is for universities to foot the bill for authors, this will leave an important group of researchers, in sciences and humanities, out in the cold – those who do not have (or no longer have) any university affiliation. This is not the academic spring. 
Dr Tricia Cusack

Monday, 16 July 2012

Free Access but authors pay: this is not the Academic Spring

According to today's Guardian (16.7.12) the British government is about to 'unveil' plans to make science research free to access, but by tranferring costs to authors who apparently will have to pay an 'article processing charge' to publishers of about £2000 per article. This so beggars belief that I have written to The Guardian to check whether it is a misprint for £20 - and why should authors pay anything - they should be PAID to publish. If universities henceforward pay authors' fees, who will pay those of independent researchers, including those who have retired from teaching?
Blog description

Academics - astonishingly - have to write and review journal articles for free, or more accurately, at a cost to themselves (for example, fees for illustrations). So long as they belong to a university they can access articles online, but on leaving, most are cut off from such resources without ceremony, and are then required by publishers to pay £23 for sight of a single article. So publishers and universities benefit from free academic labour, then charge non-affiliated academics for seeing the results. This blog highlights this iniquitous situation and discusses solutions.
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