HuffPo brings a pile of bizarre with 50 Shades of Grey in Scientific Publication: How Digital Publishing Is Harming Science
. A scholar called Douglas Fields argues against open access, mainly by attempting to paint it as a dastardly government takeover of science that will mean the end of rigorous research. I was a little disappointed that he didn't actually call open access communist.
The article is plenty strange and sad in and of itself; anyone who can write with a straight face that "A corporate/government financial alliance is replacing scholarly publication once organized and run by scientists and academics" has a very, very idealistic view of the sort of traditional academic publishing that open access is trying to revolutionize.
And then comes this comparison:
Similar changes are eroding literary publication as direct electronic publication by authors on the Internet has led to erotic and reportedly pornographic works like Fifty Shades of Grey and spinoffs sweeping bestsellers lists for months. The issue is not whether erotica or pornography is or should be popular; rather, one wonders what literary work might have filled those slots on the bestsellers lists if traditional mechanisms of editor-evaluated publication had been applied, which consider more than simply the potential popularity of a work in deciding what to publish.
One wonders indeed.
This man lives in a very strange reality. But I love, love, love the idea of equating open access with 50 Shades! It means that advocating for open publication of my research is just like polluting my pure academic environment with BDSM porn. I feel totally all right with conceptualizing my work in that way. Maybe I should make some mugs and t-shirts for other open access-loving fan studies people.