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That’s because in February, the UC system — one of the country’s largest academic institutions, encompassing Berkeley, Los Angeles, Davis, and several other campuses — dropped its nearly million annual subscription to Elsevier, the world’s largest publisher of academic journals. Why cut off students and researchers from academic research?In fact, it was a principled stance that may herald a revolution in the way science is shared around the world.And if you, the taxpayer, want to access the road today, you need to buy a seven-figure annual subscription or pay high fees for one-off trips.
The 27,500 scientists who work for the University of California generate 10 percent of all the academic research papers published in the United States.
Their university recently put them in a strange position: Starting July 10, these scientists will not be able to directly access much of the world’s published research they’re not involved in.
Gemma Hersh, a senior vice president for global policy at Elsevier, says the company’s net profit margin was 19 percent (more than double the net profit of Netflix).
But critics, including open access crusaders, think the business model is due for a change.
Like all pre-internet publishing models, early journals sold subscriptions.
Open Access Research Papers
It wasn’t the hugely profitable industry it is today.
They often have to pay fees to submit articles to journals and to publish.
Peer reviewers, the overseers tasked with making sure the science published in the journals is up to standard, typically aren’t paid either.
When scholars can’t read the latest research, “that hinders the research they can do, and slows down the progress of humanity,” Mac Kie-Mason says.
But there’s a big thing getting in the way of a revolution: prestige-obsessed scientists who continue to publish in closed-access journals.