7 comments

  1. What do you think about Jon Tennant’s argument that academics are already giving ALL their work to for-profit companies? Why exempt journal publishers from criticism? Why are we not likewise boycotting them? (See http://fossilsandshit.com/researchgate-academia-edu-and-bigger-problems-with-scholarly-publishing/)

    //The issue raised in the article is essentially this: Why should for-profit companies be allowed to generate profits from your research with little transparency? It’s a good question.

    Well, actually, this sounds suspiciously like our entire scholarly publishing ecosystem to me, and it is not clear why Academia.edu is being treated in this way. For decades, for-profit companies have been making vast sums of money from the work of researchers, and often with profit margins in excess of 35%, greater than those even of Google (25%) Apple (29%) and even the largest oil companies like Rio Tinto (23%).

    The traditional scholarly publishing market is worth an estimated $25.2 billion USD each year, most of which is generated through publicly-funded researchers giving their work to free for publishers, having that work reviewed for free by their peers, and then having publishers sell each piece of research for around $40 a copy. Researchers in exchange get to have an extra line on their CV and a trip to the pub to celebrate contributing to publisher’s vast profits, I mean, humanity’s corpus of knowledge. This is a vast, global ecosystem that researchers fuel every day, and one that is undergoing quite a state of upheaval at the moment as more and more researchers realise just how daft the whole thing is.

    So why are people treating ResearchGate and Academia.edu differently?//

  2. No accusations intended, just sincere questions. Thanks for the links! It seems to me that not just publishers but any system that appropriates knowledge for the profit of few should be criticized. Knowledge more than anything else should be available to all, not just the privileged, the cost of disseminating it borne by all who want to use it. And that won’t turn out to be $20 – $60 or more per paper. Journals, encyclopedias and the other 17th-Century knowledge management methods will eventually go the way of the dinosaur. People want information to be free. No amount of legislation or tradition can long stand against that tsunami.

  3. I read through your Academia.edu and Self-branding article. Very interesting. Wow, what a complex way of doing things, all driven by competition for funding. What about a Wikijournal?

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