I’ve a friend who’s a psychology PhD, struggling to establish herself on the academic ladder. She’s been told that in order to keep her job she has to get two papers published in a recognised journal.
I’d always thought that publication in learned journals was a way for academics add to their income. Not so, apparently. Not only does the author have to submit, rewrite, and resubmit until the required standard is reached. The author also pays for publication.
A couple of weeks ago I had to go through the process of buying a couple of academic articles online (neither of which turned out to be worth the money, but that’s another story). What I saw along the way confirmed this. On the guidelines page of one medical/academic publisher I read of how the author can pay their normal fee, for which the publisher will sell the article to readers in the normal way, or a hefty multiple of it, for which they’ll make the article available to others without charge.
The advantage to the author being, presumably, that wider distribution can lead to more citations and consequent professional enhancement.
Citation seems to be the name of the game, here. Neither of the articles I bought turned out to contain much of use, beyond what was already suggested in the abstract. For a working writer looking for insight, detail and some actual information, they were a waste of money.
I suppose the abstract served the same function as a Roger Corman trailer. As a producer friend once put it, “All the tits and bangs, and then there’s no need to see the movie.“