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Time to break academic publishing’s stranglehold on research

By New Scientist

Science journals are laughing all the way to the bank, locking the results of publicly funded research behind exorbitant paywalls. A campaign to make content free must succeedRead full story

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  • Whether or not your support Plan S, all publicly funded research should be publicly published. It really is that simple - we are already paying for it.

  • All taxpayer funded operations need to be transparent. When corruption and slight of hand happens following the money trail gets you to the truth.

  • Shouldn’t all publicly-funded research be made open to the public? I think the academic publishing industry can handle it (with 40% profits). Openness and transparency can be the future, if that’s what we push towards.

  • It’s impossible to know what humans can achieve with the proper information. We should be maximizing the possibility for world changing innovation due to scientific discovery, so why are we keeping valuable information out of the hands of potential innovators in favor of corporate profits?

    This was a critical mission for the late Aaron Swartz, co-founder of Reddit, YCombinator, and the Open Access movement. He famously stole thousands of academic research articles from JSTOR, an online repository

    It’s impossible to know what humans can achieve with the proper information. We should be maximizing the possibility for world changing innovation due to scientific discovery, so why are we keeping valuable information out of the hands of potential innovators in favor of corporate profits?

    This was a critical mission for the late Aaron Swartz, co-founder of Reddit, YCombinator, and the Open Access movement. He famously stole thousands of academic research articles from JSTOR, an online repository of academic research with prohibitively high subscription fees which effectively limits access to their content to those who can afford it.

    If you haven’t seen The Internet’s Own Boy, the award winning documentary about the life and death of Aaron Swartz and the causes he fought for, it does a great job of explaining how critical these issues are for generations to come (it’s on Netflix!) https://www.imdb.com/title/tt3268458/

  • The equation is easy. If you put it out for free, most publications won't have resources to pay for serious peer reviews (exponential increase of AI publications are already proving this). If you rise the paywall then the information doesn't gets spread. I personally wouldn't mind paying if it was reasonable, and by that I mean, something like what Apple did with the iPod. It's important also to understand the use cases and the types of consumers because most papers get a very low traffic. Metered

    The equation is easy. If you put it out for free, most publications won't have resources to pay for serious peer reviews (exponential increase of AI publications are already proving this). If you rise the paywall then the information doesn't gets spread. I personally wouldn't mind paying if it was reasonable, and by that I mean, something like what Apple did with the iPod. It's important also to understand the use cases and the types of consumers because most papers get a very low traffic. Metered paywalls with the right threshold per publication would make total sense here.

  • Aaron Fulkerson
    Aaron Fulkerson

    Too few realize how these private academic publishing companies stymie innovation and science while fleecing our publicly funded research. COalition S makes a lot of sense imo.

  • Akshat Rathi
    Akshat RathiSenior reporter at Quartz

    There is no doubt journal editors add value to scientific publishing. But taxpayer funded research should be publicly accessible, and we already have sensible business models to support journals that don't charge exhorbitant subscription fees. There really is no excuse.

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