"Some people are just too quick to assume base motives, and employ words like "boycott" as if they were punctuation marks. Also, let's be honest, sometimes open access publishers have stoked these flames to their own PR ends. For me, this cynical and wrongheaded mindset reached its apotheosis (so far) in a comment on this blog post, which suggested that — wait for it — scientists should boycott NPG for having set up the free preprint server and document-sharing site, Nature Precedings:
'[G]ood call on Nature preceedings being designed to fail - I totally agree, had the same thought. I think it's Nature's effort to sandbag open publishing. Scientists and open publishing supporters should be crying bloody murder on this. I suggest a boycott of Nature preceedings. Hell maybe even the rest of Nature journals...'
Yeah, right, that would be good for open access..."My gut reaction was that I just got bitch-slapped by someone at Nature, but I wasn't totally sure because so many big words were used (damn those writers and their big dictionaries). Naturally I immediately dictionary.com-ed the hell out of his post to figure out what he was saying:
a·poth·e·o·sis /əˌpɒθiˈoʊsɪs, ˌæpəˈθiəsɪs/ Pronunciation Key - Show Spelled Pronunciation[uh-poth-ee-oh-sis, ap-uh-thee-uh-sis] Pronunciation Key - Show IPA Pronunciation –noun, plural -ses /-siz, -ˌsiz/ Pronunciation Key - Show Spelled Pronunciation[-seez, -seez] Pronunciation Key - Show IPA Pronunciation.
|1.||the elevation or exaltation of a person to the rank of a god.|
|2.||the ideal example; epitome; quintessence: This poem is the apotheosis of lyric expression.|
Hmmm. Elevation to the rank of a god. Ok, I can take that. Now let's look at the context, I seem to remember something from high school about meaning and context. Hmmm...
"cynical and wrongheaded mindset reached its apotheosis"
So, I'm the god of cynical wrongheadedness. Ok maybe not the best god if one had one's choice, but still, a god's a god.
Seriously though, I thank Timo for taking the time to clarify his position and respond to our provocations. Whether or not one believes the the NPG is seriously dedicated to open publishing as a corporate entity, he and others (see Hilary from NPG Precedings' comments on this post) demonstrate that some individuals within the organization are very dedicated to modernizing scientific publishing. His post and is worth reading. Hopefully I will muster up a more challenging response to his arguments in the future...