Open Science Songs: Sign This Publishing Plan

December 3, 2018 – 12:10 am

Another set of parody lyrics from the challenge by my first-year students; if you like this, you may also enjoy the Les Miz parody song that preceded it. Thanks to Shauna Gordon-McKeon for lyrics co-authorship!

Sign This Publishing Plan (to the tune of “Take Me Or Leave Me” from Rent)

Context: a graduate [Student] has a rather well-done paper, and is excited about getting it to the widest audience possible. However, their [Advisor] is concerned that jumping to the first open access journal they’ve found might not be the best publishing plan.

[Student:]
Every single day,
People I never meet
They email me and say “thanks, your dataset’s sweet!”
Ever since I made it free
Everyone’s citing me
CC-BY, I can’t help it baby

So be kind, and don’t lose your mind
Just remember my h-index helps you too, baby

Sign this publishing plan
All knowledge should be free
So if you give a damn
Sign this baby or leave me

Sign this baby or leave me

A single paywalled page
Can never see the sun
This paper needs a stage baby, why not this one
This journal made the news
So I guess that’s what I’ll choose
Is it legitimate? Maybe.

But it’s fine – please don’t waste my time
It’s the internet age, it’s not 1980

Sign this publishing plan
All knowledge should be free
So if you give a damn
Sign this baby or leave me

Okay, so the fees cost a lot
But hey, can we give this a shot?
Oh, don’t fight, don’t lose your head
You want them to cite Smith instead?
Who?
Who should they cite instead?
[Spoken:] C’mon, just let me publish there.

[Advisor:]
It won’t work
I look before I leap
I’m well known in our discipline
The risk here is just too steep baby
It’s just… thin.
I’ve read Their procedure through
This is not peer review
It’s just too good to be true, baby
So be wise, and prioritize
This could go anywhere, so don’t compromise
You’re one lucky baby

[Advisor:] Take me for what I am
[Student:] A control freak.
[Advisor:] I’m just trying to be
[Student:] A good advisor, I know
[Advisor:] And if you give a damn
[Student:] I graduate next week!
[Advisor:] Take it baby, or leave me
[Student:] I already sent it, so -

[Both:] That’s it!
[Advisor:] You want the tenure track?
[Both:] I quit!
[Advisor:] Tell them to send it back
[Student:] Publishers! What is it about them?
[Both:] Can’t live with them or without them!

(Chorus, overlapping)
[Advisor:] This is not a good plan
[Student:] Sign this publishing plan
[Advisor:] Your labor is not free
[Student:] Knowledge wants to be free
[Advisor:] And if you give a damn you’d better
[Student:] And if you give a damn
[Advisor:] Change this, baby
[Student:] Sign this, baby
[Advisor:] Change this, baby
[Student:] Sign this, baby
[Advisor:] Change this, baby
[Student:] Sign this, baby
[Both:] Or leave me

[Both, spoken:] Guess I’m leaving. I’m gone!

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  2. Dec 3, 2018: Mel Chua » Blog Archive » Open Science Songs: Do you hear the people sing

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