Fake Banner
    Journal of Cosmology
    By Alex "Sandy" Antunes | September 24th 2010 04:50 PM | 5 comments | Print | E-mail | Track Comments
    About Alex "Sandy"

    Read more about the strange modern world of a day laborer in astronomy, plus extra space science-y goodness....

    View Alex "Sandy"'s Profile
    Cosmology has been crossing my transom.  I've been getting press releases from the new online Journal of Cosmology.  Below is a sample.  They have a respectible team and, frankly, a kick-ass background image for their website (shown below).

    And, they have a novel economic model-- a $35 submission fees, plus a $150 fee if published.  Given most academic journals are free to submit but have fees upwards of $1000 to publish, it could be seen as a breakthrough in open journals.  However, much as any writing gig that charges a submission fee, I am worried they are more focused on the cash than the science. 

    Your thoughts?

    Tuesdays at The Satellite Diaries and Friday at The Daytime Astronomer (twitter @skyday)

    The Origins of Life Explained:

    We are Not Alone, and this is How Life Begins


    A revolutionary series of discoveries ushers in a new paradigm in our understanding of how life began. In this month's issue of the online Journal of Cosmology, Dr. Michael Russell and colleagues, of NASA, JPL, and the California Institute of Technology, have detailed a bold new theory, supported by considerable evidence, demonstrating how life emerged in the tempestuous water-world that was our planet four billion years ago.   In the same edition of the Journal of Cosmology, Dr. Russell's work receives near unanimous support from 12 independent scientists who report on the evolutionary stages taken by life, right from its emergence in a warm and bitter submarine spring spewing hydrogen-rich waters into a carbonated ocean, through the process of metabolism, onto the RNA world, to the first viruses, and bacteria to animals, humans and consciousness.

    Journal of Cosmology


    We did use one article they published (Did The Ancient Greeks Record Halley's Comet First?) and I agree they do interesting stuff but I thought the background image made it look like homework.

    I noted the low submission fee too - it's one of the reasons I have harped on 'open publication' whereas others seem to only focus on 'open access'.   I don't see how subsidizing free readership, like open access, is inherently superior to free submission, like traditional journals.   There is an easy mechanism to make them both free.   And charging a much smaller amount is testimony to that.

    Obviously, like Nielsen ratings for TV, arguing that Impact Factor is a false metric is pointless, since that is how people who want funded have to convey the interest in their work, so any submission fee for a poor impact factor is less valuable than submitting to a print journal and waiting six months - so that will have to be overcome.   It's always the pioneers who get the arrows in the back.
    RE: Journal of Cosmology
    You are absolutely correct. After accepting my paper "The Probability for matter-Antimatter Segregation
    Following the Quark-Hadron Transition" the managing editor changed the title to meaningless garbage and then screwed up the equations. I complained to the executive editor and he said there was nothing he could do, but did mention that other authors had also complained. I could find out nothing concerning the sponsors of the journal. It appears to be a farce.
    Moishe Garfinkle

    This sounds like a good idea. The convenience of online access will ensure that with good marketing such a journal will succeed. 
    Science advances as much by mistakes as by plans.
    Johannes Koelman
    It seems that JoC's formula lacks sustainability: http://daviddobbs.posterous.com/journal-of-cosmology-going-out-with-big-... Assuming this is indeed JoC's press release (can't find a confirmation at JoC's site), it is a very weak one: no reason given why they stop apart from a repeated 'they are all against us'.
    A nationwide chain of coffee shops was not sustainable until Starbucks did it.

    JoC is completely sustainable, but they may not know how to make money.  PLoS burned through $10 million of other peoples' money before they broke even.    That doesn't mean just anyone can put up a site and have it work financially.