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July 03, 2008

Didn't they learn anything from Encyclopdeia Britannica vs Wikipedia?

PLoS stays afloat with bulk publishing : Nature News

The hot story this morning is "Nature disses PLoS," based on Declan Butler's article "PLoS stays afloat with bulk publishing: Science-publishing firm struggles to make ends meet with open-access model." The article (Nature 2008;454(11), doi:10.1038/454011a, published online July 2, 2008) has already drawn reactions around the scientific and library blogging worlds ranging from "told you so" to "how dare they!"

Jonathan Eisen, Academic Editor in Chief of PLoS Biology, wrote a response and links to a number of other responses.

Personally, I think Nature has as much right as any business to take potshots at the competition. Whether they are wise to do so remains to be seen. I doubt that true believers on either side of the open access movement are going to persuaded by the article or the reactions to it, so it's difficult to see what they gain. And as Britannica learned when it challenged wikipedia, such challenges can come back to haunt you later. Britannica endured an extended comparison of the accuracy of its articles versus those in Wikipedia, and now includes wikipedia-like features. Will we see Nature Publishing Group journals change as a result of this discussion?

Posted by janeblum at July 3, 2008 08:54 AM

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