Every couple of months, we come to our senses and realize that the for-profit publishing industry is benefiting at both ends of the game. First, authors pay to publish, at cost which run into the thousands of dollars. Second, scientists donate their time to review papers for free, acting as a second editorial control for the journal (as well as hopefully clearing the science in the paper). This time the call to arms comes from this years Nobel prize winner, Randy Schekman. He’s refusing to publish in Nature, Cell, or Science.

There has been a lot of backlash of course. It’s quite easy to say you’re not going to publish in these top journals after you’ve won the top prize in science. But I’d offer that this is where we start.

It’s strange, after the attention this story is getting, that the largest for-profit publisher is going after academics for sharing their work. Of course, this is their right, as the researchers have given up the copyright on their works (which is absurd). I’m not sure what’s going to break the power of the for-profit journals. Here’s what I’d recommend: Science Magazine becomes open-access. It’s published by the largest non-profit scientific organization, the AAAS, so it fits with the mission of it’s parents organization. It’s one of the top three, and going open-access would put tremendous pressure on the other two to at least enhance their open-access option or be left behind. Granted this won’t happen, but it would be an even better leap forward…