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IEEE vs Open Source

Discussion in 'Electronic Design' started by PaulCsouls, Sep 12, 2005.

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  1. PaulCsouls

    PaulCsouls Guest

    According to Russell J Lefevre who is running for IEEE-USA
    President-Elect, "There are two major issues facing IEEE_USA members
    in the next few years; responses to globalization and to new "Open
    Source" publications that threaten the financial health of IEEE and

    I don't quite understand what this issue means. Is this about whether
    I have to pay IEEE for papers or get them for free? What benefit do I
    get from paying IEEE for information? Do the authors get some benefit?


    Paul C
  2. Al

    Al Guest

    The benefit you get is that the papers are reviewed and published so
    others may learn something. The authors even pay to have their papers
    published. Someone has to pay for the paper, for the computers, for the
    distribution, for the edits, for the buildings that house these and more
    stuff than I can imagine.

    What have you given away for free? What medium did you use?

  3. Well, Open Source etc certainly threatens the financial health of companioes
    like Microsoft. Clearly giving stuff away for free - good stuff like Linux - is
    a Commie plot to destroy the American Way.


    The Consensus:-
    The political party for the new millenium
  4. Joel Kolstad

    Joel Kolstad Guest

    They had at least a page or two in some not-so-old issue of IEEE Spectrum, as
    I recall. The issue is who should pay to get something published...
    Well, even with the Internet, publishing costs some amount of money (e.g., web
    hosting costs, Internet connectivity costs, etc.), so the question is who
    should be the one footing those bills. Authors? Readers? The government
    (aka, "everyone")? Some mix thereof? The current model has the readers
    (well, the libraries) footing the bulk of the bill, while the authors foot a
    little bit of it. The IEEE article argues that even though many people,
    including myself!, think that their journal prices are extraordinarily high,
    they're actually quite competitive with the costs of similar journals.
    The IEEE is a well-known, distinguished and respected institution, so there's
    definitely an air of credibility that comes via publishing through their
    peer-reviewed journals rather than just sticking something on a web page.
    That credibility is probably somewhat overrated, but it's still better than

    The IEEE article is pretty good, although it's coming from what I'd consider a
    biased source, even if they don't consider themselves one internally.

  5. Joerg

    Joerg Guest

    Hello Paul,
    You have to pay for the papers or obtain an IEEE-Explore subscription.
    Most of the IEEE publications are so low in volume that the cost per
    copy is enormous. Just imagine what a Chevy Suburban would cost if they
    only made 1000 per year.

    The benefit you get is knowledge.

    The authors don't get paid, at least I never did. Not even the travel
    expenses when I had to present at conferences. There is the opposite
    trend that Al mentioned and it is very disturbing: It has been suggested
    that authors pay for their publications. That would seriously gravitate
    the whole world of such scientific publishing towards the big ivy league
    institutions where funding is heavy. The little guy especially in
    developing countries will be cut off. Not a good thing at all.

    Regards, Joerg
  6. snip

    Things are changing.
    A friend has a small website, pointing to specialist UK shops (not
    porn). He gets a very small payment (AKA a pitance) for each click
    from his site that ends in a purchase from the redirection. It pays
    for his ISP fees's etc. He does little work on it, it just breaks
    even. With a bit more effort he could do a lt more.

    I'm not IEEE paid up etc, but are they stuck in the dark ages, like
    the UK's BSI?
    If they are they are dead as the proverbial dodo.

    The google "mini_ad_things" could probably pay for the IEEE, everyone
    could access to get excellent papers, the authors would become better
    known, and more work/commissions.

    (disclaimer, I'm not an MBA either, so make your own conclusions)

  7. That's a false dichotomy.

    For example, one of my clients is a software company that charges a lot of
    money for its products; but they pay me to work on open-source software that
    is used as part of the infrastructure for their products. Although my work
    also benefits my client's competitors who use the same infrastructure
    software, apparently there is still a good business case for doing it this
  8. Walter Harley wrote...
    Your work probably doesn't really benefit the competition. For that to
    happen, their software engineers would have to drop their NIH attitudes
    and begin tracking your every move. Consider, if they're sufficiently
    unskilled that they don't have an NIH attitude, and such an approach
    seems better than writing their own programs, they aren't sufficiently
    skilled to follow your open-source work and modify it for incorporation
    into their own software. They'll have a massive cock-up in the attempt.
  9. PaulCsouls

    PaulCsouls Guest

    How is Open Source a threat to any of this unless, it provides some
    sort of peer review and copyright or copyleft protections? Open Source
    has to be something more official than just posting crap on your web
    page. The only difference Isee is the information is posted free on
    the web like application notes instead of having to pay for the IEEE
    reprint. I have paid for papers but I turn to free information on the
    web first and I don't see why I should support some plan to make free
    info harder to find.

    Paul C
  10. PaulCsouls

    PaulCsouls Guest

    Maybe the ad route is good idea. They should at least make more of
    their papers available to their basic members. You can be a member and
    try to get a paper and find you need 'more' membership to look at it.
    They all talk about cutting the costs of membership but they could do
    more to make the membership worth the money.

    Paul C
  11. PaulCsouls

    PaulCsouls Guest

    My question was IEEE vs Open Source. If there is an open source
    publishing alternative that is cheaper for the author and gets me to
    the knowledge cheaper and easier why shouldn't I support that over

    Paul C
  12. Richard H.

    Richard H. Guest


    I don't disagree with recovering the cost, especially on short runs of
    print publications.

    But, what justifies the fees charged to download documents like the
    standards, especially when one is already a dues-paying member at nearly
    $200/year? I recall some time back having to pay to download specs for
    V.35 for cryin' out loud. (Not much as I recall, but it was so old that
    it should have been gratis to Communications Society members.)

    The last time I looked at prices to download *recent* specs in the 802
    tree, they were outrageous ($100's, IIRC). (I know they started
    releasing older versions for free a few years back.) If the authors pay
    their own way to the committee meetings, what cost is there to the IEEE
    aside from the layout and administrative overhead?

    It seems too much like IEEE is in the money-making business, not in the
    standards and professional society business...

    My two cents,
  13. Guest

    IEEE is a country club. They need money to maintain the greens, pay the
    handsome cabana boy and pay off the people who smuggle in Cuban cigars.

    They are whining because more engineers are interested in working with
    open-source, freely-distributed projects and publications than with
    bureacracy. For almost anybody not working on a government contract,
    the world has evolved past IEEE's mentality (which has little to do
    with science and much to do with the aforementioned country club

    This is an exaggeration but not by much. Really, what it boils down to
    is that they never previously had any need to compete, but now other
    sources have at least as much mainstream credibility, if not more. So
    IEEE is being forced to rethink its business model (and maybe go from
    an 18-hole to a 9-hole course in the process), which hurts.
  14. Not quite sure if this question is valid

    What about peer review in an Open Source system?

  15. Joerg

    Joerg Guest

    Hello Paul,
    Well, sure. It's a free market just like any other market. If open
    source is available most of us would naturally gravitate towards it. If
    authors are required to pay to finance most of it that will reduce the
    supply side though. So concentrating too much on open source might cut
    you off from part of the pie.

    Then there is the "self published paper" or whatever you want to call
    it: Via the web. It would cost me next to nothing to publish something
    on our web site and some people do that. It would cost readers nothing
    extra to read that. However, most of those papers will not be
    peer-reviewed so readers have to be more careful. But there are
    excellent papers to be found that way, many of them on web sites of our
    fellow posters right here.

    Regards, Joerg
  16. I read in that Joerg
    Maybe somebody with more time and resources than I have will find a way
    of getting credible peer reviews done on the Web. After all, almost all
    s.e.d. articles are peer-reviewed, often ad nauseam or even ad mortem.
  17. Jim Thompson

    Jim Thompson Guest

    "ad mortem"! I love it!

    ...Jim Thompson
  18. Just had some UK friends over to stay in my new spanish house. The
    room at the back( washing m/c etc) has just been renamed "the futility

  19. And the sad, ironic thing is that the GNU General Public License makes
    it legal for Bill Gates to slap a Windoze eye candy GUI on top of a
    Linux core, and make money selling it.

    But I surmise that he's about as likely to clue up as the Bush cabal.

  20. Joel Kolstad

    Joel Kolstad Guest

    I don't see how it's any worse for Bill Gates to do that than the Red Hats,
    Fedoras, Linspires, and others than presently do... and Bill Gates employs one
    heck of a lot more people and pas a lot more taxes than Red Hat does!
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