I just received an email this morning telling me that Nature Precedings (Nature’s preprint service) is closing down at the beginning of April, 2012. Shame on you Nature. No reason was given. This is what happens I supose when we rely on for-profit organsizations to support academic publishing. Obviously it’s in their right as an independent company to do as they wish and I guess it’s the risk we take if we use their services. But still, it leaves one wondering how much trust we should place in for-profit publishing companies (see also http://thecostofknowledge.com/).
The good news is that there are still at least two other organizations that support a preprint service, namely the venerable arXiv located out of Cornell University and now also figshare what is supported by Digital Science. Figshare is a “a community- based, open science project that will retain its autonomy whilst receiving support from the division.”, hopefully as a result it won’t go the way of Nature Proceedings.
Long live open publishing.