» Scholarly societies: like a cat chasing the laser dot

peter.suber's bookmarks 2023-12-02


"ou may have seen a neutered version of this post over at the LSE blog. This post below, however, puts the tiger in the tank, as it was enhanced by CatGPT:

Maybe scholarly societies have taken “the instruction”follow the money!” a tad too literally? There now are societies that make 83% of their nearly US$ 700 million in revenue from publishing (American Chemical Society). Or 88% of US$130 million (American Psychological Association). Or 91% of US$5 million (Biochemical Society). In essence, societies like these (there are hundreds, especially in STEM fields) are publishers first and societies second (or fifth). One could be forgiven if one imagined their business meetings involved chanting, “Publish or Perish” while stacking green taller than a Himalayan cat tower. But wait, there’s more! Some of these organizations even side with corporate publishers against scholarship, e.g., when litigating against organizations or individuals striving to make research more accessible, or when begging wannabe-authoritarian rulers to protect their archaic, parasitic business models. Can it still be considered ethical to charge multiples of the publication costs of an article in order to finance executive salaries, subsidize member dues, sponsor prizes, host all-you-can-drink receptions at annual meetings or pay lawyers to ensure nobody can read the works of your scholars? Who needs scholarly integrity when you can have lucrative deals and lawyers on speed dial?...

So, to the scholarly societies out there, here’s a challenge: step up, embrace Mastodon (and any of the other cool fediverse options like peertube, owncast, writefreely, hubzilla, etc.), and give those faux-societies a run for their money. Show us you’re all about scholarship, not just financial catnip!"


From feeds:

Open Access Tracking Project (OATP) » peter.suber's bookmarks

Tags: oa.societies oa.economics_of oa.social_media oa.mastodon

Date tagged:

12/02/2023, 09:29

Date published:

12/02/2023, 04:29