Open-Access Journals a Victim of Their Success

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A very interesting and ironic opening to an article from The Chronicle:

"A blossoming experiment in allowing a form of open-access scientific publishing appears to have hit a roadblock, after the world’s largest journal publisher found that too many universities were moving to take advantage of it."

That publisher is Elsevier. They have notified universities that have built their own online repositories of journal articles written by their researchers that they now must respect waiting periods (typically lasting a year or two) before allowing free access to Elsevier-owned content. This is the same approach that movie studios - another media dinosaur - has taken to holding back films from streaming services (like Netflix) for weeks, months or years.

Why these embargoes? Money, of course. And an attempt to hold back a rising tide to openness that will eventually overcome and destroy the publishers (and studios).

According to the article universities and their researchers are "crying foul, saying Elsevier is reneging now that a movement to create university repositories — web-based storehouses of articles — is rapidly gaining momentum."

Who would have thought that this open-access concept would catch on?  Not Elsevier.

 


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