10 August 2012

Unpaid work

Like most academics I get frequent requests from commercial publishers to review papers and manuscripts of books. For the latter some meagre payment is generally offered and, unless the author is a personal acquaintance, I decline. In the case of journal papers I now have a standard response:
"Thank you for your enquiry: my daily rate for this kind of work is £400 and I estimate that what you require will take a couple of day's work. If you would confirm your acceptance of this rate of payment, I shall be happy to oblige."
Needless to say, I usually hear nothing more :-) Now, if we all replied in this manner, I wonder how long the commercial domination of scholarly publishing would last? I will, of course, review papers for genuine open access journals, i.e., those that levy neither subscriptions nor author charges.

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