The end of Academia.edu: how business takes over, again | diggit magazine
lterrat's bookmarks 2017-04-29
"The problem with Academia.edu is that it is a commercial enterprise. It is not created to serve the common good – diffusing knowledge. It is also not created to serve democratic ideals, but to make money. And like almost all such ‘user-generated content sites’ they start as dot.communism but almost overnight turn into dot.capitalism, to paraphrase Van Dijk. The first signs of that shift in the case of Academia.edu were visible when they introduced ‘the premium account’ saying: ‘Academia Premium is for people who want powerful extra features on Academia.’
The lessons to be drawn from this, are the same ones that Siva Vaidhyanathan listed when talking about the Google Books projects. The academic production of knowledge should not be used to make profit, but to improve society. Academic knowledge is, or at least should be a common. The fact that academic knowledge is now part of the ‘for profit’ business can only be understood as the failing of the state and the dominance of neoliberalism. The market destroys academia and the only way to change that is to set up our own platforms. Platforms that only have one goal: to give that knowledge back to society. Fortunately, in a way, this policy shift in Academia.edu now opens a space for new platforms offering genuinely open access for a community of scholars around the world, craving to read and discuss each others' findings, but increasingly constrained by insane paywalls."