Sunday, December 17, 2006


In Why I Am The Enemy (Caveat Lector), Dorothea Salo says "I am the enemy because I will become a publisher." (Unfortunately, Caveat Lector doesn't allow comments, so that's why my response is here.)

Enemy? Perhaps I'm disappointing you not to regard you as the enemy. Quite the contrary, welcome to the world of publishing, Dorothea. Please do become a publisher. Many have come before you, and many are successful. And please don't think of becoming a publisher as being 'the enemy'. There's more than enough enmity in the world and we don't need more of it. Why don't you just become a competitor? That's possible, you know; publishing is a completely free world. You won't need a diploma or licence or permit to publish. And you'll no-doubt make a success of it. Welcome again – the more the merrier.

You're right, authors "have absolutely zero duty to journal publishers", as you put it. Why should they, anyway? They just use publishers to their own ends (you'll find out when you become a publisher). And rightly so; that's what publishers are for. Publishers just want to be paid for what they do. Though I sometimes get the feeling that that is considered exceedingly outlandish and strange. May I ask if you want to be paid for your job, Dorothea? Still, when you've become a publisher?

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year! Peace be on Earth!

Jan Velterop
PS. The exchange between Stevan Harnad and myself that you are referring to is not a dust-up. It is just an exchange of opinions. A 'rich exchange' perhaps, and we certainly do have different views on how to get to open access (not on open access itself), but I object (as I'm pretty sure he does) to seeing such exchanges described in terms of enmity and dust-ups.

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