29Mar 500 Word Letter to the Editor? $31.50…
…real scientific and professional discussion? Priceless.*
In a previous post, Publishing in Science: Are Industry Standards Serving Researchers, Clinicians, and Science?, @JasonSilvernail and I discussed some of the problems with the current publishing industry paradigm as well as our personal frustrations with the process. These insights stemmed from writing a letter to the editor of Manual Therapy, which is currently e-published ahead of print (in press, corrected proof). A link can be found here: Innominate 3D motion modeling: Biomechanically interesting, but clinically irrelevant.
Well, unfortunately for you, reading that letter will cost you $31.50 unless you have a subscription to Manual Therapy, or are affiliated with an institution with accessing rights. For those of you doing mental math at home, that equates to 6.3 cents per WORD (references included at no extra charge!!) Of course, no abstracts accompany letters to the editor, but they do provide a 29 word preview (essentially 1.5 sentences). My question is: does anyone EVER buy a single letter to the editor? I sure hope not. Logically, I can’t imagine publishing companies profit significantly off 500 word letters to the editor, because I can’t imagine anyone buying them.
Now, if you would like to read our longer, better version that was denied prior to review check out this post: SI Joint Mechanics in Manual Therapy: Relevance, Please? It even includes links to 2 other blog posts that have healthy discussions happening in the comments section. The references section contains links directly to abstracts.
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Putting a 500 word letter to the editor behind a pay wall seems to accomplish nothing for science, discussion, clinicians, or even the publishing companies. We think it’s time for a change...