REPOST: Why you should care about the raging battle for free access to research findings

Op-ed from the LA Times authored by IBTN colleague Robert M. Kaplan about a dispute that highlights the need for completely reinventing academic publishing to make important research accessible to all.

Op-Ed authored by Robert M. Kaplan, published by the on Apr 09, 2019

“Last month, the University of California reached an impasse with one of the world’s biggest publishers of academic journals over whether the company’s publications would be included in the university’s digital library. The university’s libraries have been spending more than $10 million a year to include Elsevier publishing company’s journals in their collections, and they wanted to reduce that amount. But the dispute was about far more than money. The UC system was also asking for universal free access to articles written by UC researchers and professors, arguing that keeping them behind a pay wall was antithetical to a free and open exchange of ideas.

Elsevier, a company that reported $3.3 billion in revenues with a 36% profit margin in 2018, has said it is still willing to negotiate on the access issue, but the UC system has ended discussions and no longer subscribes to Elsevier publications, saying the company would agree to the open access it wanted only if the UC system was willing to pay a higher subscription rate than in the past. […]”

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