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Times’ take on open access called ‘simplistic’

In a letter to the editor published on 4 March in The New York Times, the president of the Council of Scientific Society Presidents Gordon Nelson criticized the paper’s 26 February editorial praising open-access publishing as “overly simplistic”.

“A significant fraction of the scientific literature is published by nonprofit science and mathematics education societies,” Nelson wrote. “Publications often represent an important core activity of those societies. Their pricing is a fraction of that of for-profit publishers.” He noted that it is not cost-free to mount a journal, pointing for example to the cost of hardware, software, management of the peer-review process, and editorial work.

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