Open access and gloom and doom in academic publishing

26/09/2012 – 7:04 am
Tony McCall

You may have read about the impending demise of commercial academic publishers. These rumors of their death, it seems, are greatly exaggerated.

In July, the UK government announced that by 2014 “open access” publishing of results would be a condition of public funding of research; currently, of course, much of research is reported behind various paywalls in subscription journals. Proponents of open access viewed this as a victory for science, and indeed for all of society, which could only benefit from unfettered access to the latest scientific findings.

The potential losers: commercial academic publishers, which currently serve as the primary gatekeepers of scientific knowledge.

As reported by the website, analysts recently warned that the move toward open access could drive down the profitability of the journal business of publisher Elsevier by as much as 60%. The article processing charges it would earn for many of its publications “are unlikely to prove anywhere near what the company needs to be revenue neutral,” Berstein Research’s Claudio Aspesi wrote in a research note.

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author: Gary Boas
source: (9/12)

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