Very interesting discussion going on at Michael Eisen’s blogge about the proposal for scientists to boycott submitting their manuscripts to non-open-access journals in order to hasten the transition to author-pays open-access scientific publishing models.
My position is that those of us with tenured or otherwise secure jobbes are the ones who should be manning the barricades on this, not some poor fucken grad student, post-doc, or assistant professor trying to survive and make it to the next level.
And the way that we do this is not by telling one of these poor fuckes not to send their beautiful work to a particular prominent journal for political reasons. Rather, we fight tooth and nail on hiring, tenure/promotion, and grant review committees against the abdication of responsibility for judging the importance and interest of particular lines of research to non-scientist editors at legacy “high-impact” journals.
Do away with the stranglehold that non-OA journals have on “high impact” (other than PLoS Biology), and OA will flourish. Yes, one way to achieve this would be a widely-subscribed “boycott”, but I cannot in good conscience engage my trainees in a boycott when my colleagues down the hall and across town are not. Another way–and one that doesn’t require martyrs to the cause–is to change the metrics by which we judge the importance and interest of a scientist’s output.