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Against Monopoly

defending the right to innovate

Monopoly corrupts. Absolute monopoly corrupts absolutely.





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Why does the monopoly of academic publishing go on?

The Economist examines academic publishing link here, "And what a living it is. Academic journals generally get their articles for nothing and may pay little to editors and peer reviewers. They sell to the very universities that provide that cheap labour. As other media falter, academic publishers have soared. Elsevier, the biggest publisher of journals with almost 2,000 titles, cruised through the recession. Last year it made 724m ($1.1 billion) on revenues of 2 billion an operating-profit margin of 36%."

Most of the publishers' revenues came from university libraries which subscribed to bundles of journals at very high prices, according to the article. Now, the universities can no longer afford to do so. This racket is based on the fact that academic promotion comes from peer-reviewed publications in these journals, now for the most part online.

The Economist doesn't mention it, but the solution is to set up their own peer-reviewed journals on line. The saving in subscriptions should be more than enough to pay generously for such a system. Why they haven't remains a mystery.


Comments

the solution is to set up their own peer-reviewed journals on line. The saving in subscriptions should be more than enough to pay generously for such a system. Why they haven't remains a mystery.

Why is this "the solution"? Surely university libraries would face the same barriers as other new journals, including new Open Access journals -- academics want to publish in ones that already have prestige. A library would face an analogous dilemma -- its users would want it to have the existing journals while the library was also investing in creating an alternative. University libraries might have more resources than an OA startup journal, but they also presumably have much higher costs for anything they do.

Libraries and librarians play a pivotal role in OA, so I'd love to understand how exactly you think they are overlooking an even stronger role.

Your solution to setup online journals will jeopardize the authenticity of the content and information. Improving the inter-university database will make a lot of difference. Life in the iron mills summary.

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