Friday, September 2, 2011

Academic Publishers Make Murdoch look like a Socialist

George Monbiot has an excellent article in The Guardian: "Academic Publishers make Murdoch look like a Socialist".

In it Monbiot castigates the outrageous profits earned by certain academic publishers, arguing that exorbitant journal costs result in less and less accessibility to the results of research, much of which the public has paid for though taxes.
. . . . What we see here is pure rentier capitalism: monopolising a public resource then charging exorbitant fees to use it. Another term for it is economic parasitism. To obtain the knowledge for which we have already paid, we must surrender our feu to the lairds of learning. . . .

The knowledge monopoly is as unwarranted and anachronistic as the corn laws. Let's throw off these parasitic overlords and liberate the research that belongs to us. . . .
Though most librarians and many faculty are aware of the article's points, the great utility of the article is that it's published in an important newspaper with a broad readership. The message is being spread slowly but, one hopes, surely. [Thanks to Robert Stanton, English Dept., for alerting me to this piece]

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