5 Things to Think About with mediastudies.press director, Jeff Pooley · Commonplace, May 30, 2023
ioi_ab's bookmarks 2023-05-30
"...The debates we have today about our current, half-broken system are preoccupied with the present, or perhaps the near future. That’s as it should be. But it’s worth looking back at the manifestos and prognostications of earlier eras. ...I’ve annotated Bean’s table, which details journal ownership on the eve of the Depression. Societies published half of all journals, with university presses accounting for another fifth. The commercial presses? Just 10%. Bean (1895–1974) lived to see what happened next. In the decades after World War II, Pergamon and Elsevier bought or founded hundreds of journal titles. Today, of course, just five obscenely profitable firms publish most of the world’s scholarship. Bean’s ratios, in effect, have been reversed. In the two decades since Budapest, the oligopolists have managed to price out authors. Now they’re skimming the behavioral cream and selling that too. If Franklin, Bean, and the others have anything to tell us, it’s that it doesn’t have to be this way."