Copyright on Campus
-Journals now eat upÂ 65 percent of university library budgets.
-“[A]cademic publishers get their articles, their peer reviewing (vetting by other researchers) and even much of their editing for free.”Â
-The research published by academic publishersÂ isÂ largely funded by publicly-funded researchÂ grants.
-Elsevier, Springer and Wiley currently publish 42 percent of all journal articles. In the most recent financial year, Elsevier’s operating profit margin was 36 percent.
The article suggests that theÂ money paid to academic publishers represents a “tax on education,”Â and that academicÂ publishers add “little value to the publishing process.”
TheÂ piece also features the following provocative excerpt:
“In the short term, governments should refer the academic publishers to their competition watchdogs, and insist that all papers arising from publicly funded research are placed in a free public database. In the longer term, they should work with researchers to cut out the middleman altogether, creating â€“ along the lines proposed by BjÃ¶rn Brembs of Berlin’s Freie UniversitÃ¤t â€“ a single global archive of academic literature and data. Peer-review would be overseen by an independent body. It could be funded by the library budgets which are currently being diverted into the hands of privateers.”
The article appears amid campaignsÂ for copyright reform by both the Canadian Association of University TeachersÂ andÂ the Canadian Federation of Students.Â Both organizations advocate in favour of moreÂ open access.
Nick Falvo is a Calgary-based research consultant with a PhD in Public Policy. He has academic affiliation at both Carleton University and Case Western Reserve University, and is Section Editor of the Canadian Review of Social Policy/Revue canadienne de politique sociale. You can check out his website here: https://nickfalvo.ca/.