Thursday, April 26

Blogs vs Journals

Science blogger Shelley Batts wrote an article a few days ago about the paper that the media reported as "alcohol makes fruit healthier". Being a scientist, Batts wrote a more restrained and, frankly, accurate article, including full cites and a couple of the relevant figures as an illustration.

Wiley, the journal publishers, emailed her and threatened to sic the lawyers on if she didn't take the images down.

Batts complied, but complained that she'd have done it if they'd asked nicely, they didn't need to be aggressive about it.

The science blogging community got rather up in arms about it, as you can tell from the long list of supporters in the above link.

This also sparked a discussion about fair use .

Wiley quickly realised that this is very, very bad publicity, and apologised (sort of).

My two pennys worth - most of my recent grant applications have required me to maximise the dissemination of my results. This would appear to suggest that sending them to journals that jump all over bloggers who cite the article for copying a couple of the figures is not maximising the dissemination, and therefore not the best place to send my work. I hope Wiley have learnt something here.

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