How Corporations Score Big Profits By Limiting Access To Publicly Funded Academic Research
peter.suber's bookmarks 2013-03-04
"Here’s how the academic publishing industry works: Academics do research (frequently supported by public funds) and submit that research to journals, often paying “$600-$2,000 to either the publisher or the academic society that owns the journal” for the privilege of publication. Then journals send the research back out to other academics to be reviewed (typically pro-bono–a 2008 study estimated the worldwide worth of unpaid peer review was £1.9 billion a year), and the (often for-profit) journal publishers sell access to the published research, mostly to the academic institutions who do the majority of basic research. The system is big business: The largest of the for profit academic publishers, Elsevier, reportedly earned over $1 billion in profits in 2011 with a profit margin around 35 percent and 71 percent of their revenue coming from academic customers like university libraries...."