[Irtalk] Campus Morning Mail Brief: The Case for Open Access

Hilton Gibson hilton.gibson at gmail.com
Mon Jul 28 09:56:51 SAST 2014

*The crucial question in 2014 is who owns scholarly knowledge –
universities and research institutions who create it or publishers who take
possession of knowledge and sell it back to the creators.*

*This is not where scholarly communication started, on March 6 1665, with
the Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society*, the first
peer-reviewed scientific journal. Contributors were, “invited and
encouraged to search, try, and find out new things, impart their knowledge
to one another, and contribute what they can to the Grand design of
improving Natural knowledge . . . all for the glory of God, the Honour and
Advantage of these Kingdoms, and the Universal Good of Mankind.”

*Instead of this relatively open information commons we now have an
expensive firewalled multinational publishing environment, almost
“information feudalism”.*

The profit margins of the major commercial STM publishers, such as
Elsevier, Springer, Wiley Blackwell and Informa, are in the order of 35%.
Elsevier’s profit was £826 million in 2013.

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