The HIGH Cost Of Academic Publishing

12 JUN 2015 | New research has found that the market share of the world’s largest research publishing houses has skyrocketed since the 1970s, with five corporations now controlling 50 percent of all the journal articles that are published.

By now and if you are a follower of this blog , you should no longer doubt that science needs a major overhaul, and that much of it must be reassessed. Look at all the ongoing ecocides, behind each of them we find horrendous scientific blunders.

Back in 1973, the same publishing houses controlled just 20 percent of the journals, and 30 percent in 1996. But over the past two decades, that has rapidly increase thanks to a slew of rapid mergers and acquisitions.

Confirmed again: the sole goal of competition is to eliminate all competition. Only the opposite of competition can undo this great evil: collaboration. Along with a money-free system.

The study also found that, while these companies charge large fees for people to access this research, they don’t add much value themselves – suggesting that the current model is no longer in the best interests of scientists or universities.

Yes, that is what happens when monopolies come into existence, eventually they are seen as hindrances and hazards. It is just a matter of time. It is nonetheless mind boggling that many people regard them as essential to the development of a society, or worst, call them “necessary evil”. Actually it is precisely what money wants us to believe, that we need it, even if it is at the core of 95% of the world problems and perpetuates them!

People who do not understand the money game will always end up defending monopolies whatsoever. Corporate apologists abound, the average person being easily seduced by power. Many are proud to work for market goliaths, because they can identify themselves to the latter. It gives them (a false sense of) self-confidence.

But unfortunately while young academics still need to publish in high impact journals to get hired, scientists will have to submit their articles to these companies. And as long as the most important research in each field is stuck behind a paywall, universities will pay for their researchers to access it, creating a cycle that keeps the big publishers in business.

This is a cartel, let’s admit it once and for all. Look at the monetization effect and how easy it really is to corrupt scientific research: one can righfully assume that “special connections” are necessary to even get published!

What makes things worse is that the publishers have now established an incredibly lucrative business model based on taking advantage of scientists to create content for them for free, and then selling it to back to them once it’s published. In fact, publishers don’t even pay for quality control – which is done by other scientists for free in the form of peer review – and their overheads are much lower since the arrival of the Internet.

What is conventional knowledge worth under such circumstances?



17684 Researchers Taking a Stand. Academics have protested against Elsevier’s business practices for years with little effect. These are some of their objections:

  1. They charge exorbitantly high prices for subscriptions to individual journals.
  2. In the light of these high prices, the only realistic option for many libraries is to agree to buy very large “bundles”, which will include many journals that those libraries do not actually want. Elsevier thus makes huge profits by exploiting the fact that some of their journals are essential.
  3. They support measures such as SOPA, PIPA and the Research Works Act, that aim to restrict the free exchange of information.

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