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Giving something back to the authors
  1. C KENNARD, Editor
  1. Division of Neuroscience and Psychological Medicine, Imperial College School of Medicine, Charing Cross Hospital, Fulham Palace Road, London W6 8RF, UK. Telephone 0044 181 846 7598; fax 0044 181 846 7715; email

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    For centuries scientific publishing has worked on a bizarre economic model: the real producers of the raw material, the researchers, have received no direct payment for their work. In return for publication they have received exposure, “findability” (thanks to bibliographical databases provided by others), and the “imprimatur” of peer review. Because peer review is an imperfect process,1 exposure and findability are probably the more important benefits. For their part publishers have largely borne the costs of funding peer review systems and of providing the exposure, and in return they have controlled all the rights to their authors’ work and taken all the cash. That has been as true of professional association publishers as it has been of commercial ones: the professional …

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