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For the last day and a half I've been visiting University of Alberta in Edmonton, Canada. I've been invited by Clayton Dickson in the psychology department to give a presentation at this year's Royce Conference here. I'm up to speak at 15:30 later today.
Yesterday, I gave a presentation at their Neuroscience institute and before and after that talk visited labs, talked to colleagues here and had lunch with graduate students. Tellingly, much of the discussions we'd had was about publishing and the way we do science rather than on the science the people here were doing, despite me asking them about their research. Apparently, things are now so bad that publishing occupies more of researchers minds than their actual research. This has never been the case even though people tend to ask me about publishing issues simply due to my efforts in the open access movement.
Obviously, so many people everywhere being preoccupied with something that of course is important but that should be working so smoothly that nobody should have to worry, is of tremendous concern. It also appears that now is a very good time to change things as attention is at an all time high and support is overwhelming. Even the lunch with the graduate students was predominantly about publishing and what the current status quo means for them and what they can do to help bring scholarly communications back into our (i.e., their) control. Having visited many, many labs in the last 5 years, this is really the first time that publishing has been on the mind of people so much. It's time for change and people know it.
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