With the open access protests (e.g. Elsevier boycott) reaching their climax in the past weeks, OA has been condemned to ultimate failure in Europe with the European Commission putting a final and unequivocal stop to it. In analogy to the RWA (Research Works Act) in the USA, according to which scholarly publishers like Elsevier hoped to claw back total ownership of federally funded research, the European Union has started a hot debate on banning OA to scientific literature for the public. Their argumentation is mainly based on the idea to transfer the revenues made by the publishing industry into funds accessible for the academic world and only the academic world. Thus a private scientific journal publishing company could not keep all the money earned through their subscription fees, but would have to pay a third of its income to the European Union. With all this new influx of money, the EU would announce scholarships for talented academics – paying their research expenses and projects. This would render public access to journals a distant dream – mainly academics would be able to access journals through their standing university or library subscriptions (it’s not like anybody else is paying the exorbitant per article fees).
If you ever attended even the most basic statistics class, you have been warned about data manipulation. Even more so,if somebody mentions data manipulation and statistics, your mind inevitably leads you to the media. Reporting on scientific results derived from statistics, reporters often omit the warnings and precautions the authors themselves expressed on any far-reaching conclusions based on their results. But a cautious, scientifically sound conclusion does not cut it as a headline. Despite this being a serious issue, especially for psychologists, what better way to illustrate it than with a joke?