Now | Easily Distracted
peter.suber's bookmarks 2013-03-04
"Faculty who tell me passionately about their commitment to social justice either are indifferent to these concerns or are sometimes supportive of the old order. They defend the ghastly proposition that universities (and governments) should continue to subsidize the production of scholarship that is then donated to for-profit publishers who then charge high prices to loan that work back to the institutions that subsidized its creation, and the corollary, demanded by those publishers, that the circulation of such work should be limited to those who pay those prices. Print was expensive, print was specialized, and back in the age of print, what choice did we have? We have a choice now. Everything, everything, about the production of scholarship can be supported by consortial funds within academia. The major added value is provided by scholars, again largely for free, in the work of peer review. We could put the publishers who refuse to be partners in an open world of inquiry out of business tomorrow, and the only cost to academics would be the loss of some names for journals....The major thing that stands in the way of the potentiality of this change is the passivity of scholars themselves...."