PAYWALL: The Business of Scholarship (annotated + running commentary)
It all starts the question why, is getting, access to research so expensive, and what, are people doing about it my, name is Peter and this is stacks and fax. Okay. Y'all so today we're doing something very different, and, that is because of a couple of things first of all last. Week YouTube, announced that they released this new functionality called YouTube premieres for, everyone, where basically what you can do is you can record a video in advance, and then, you can schedule it to be released and then at the moment that, it released spew can all come together and watch it at the same time with. A chat window so. They can talk to other people as it. Comes. Out the chat window ideally, should be over there yeah. So notice. The chat window there are people there another. Reason is that last, Monday, so a week before this video is running. Right now live for, the first time was, the start of open, access week now open access week if you have not heard of open access is basically, a week where we celebrate and we promote, all of these things that. Are open access and the idea behind, open access it's, a thing that I very much love is this idea that people, should, have access to information. Because. That's what helps them make informed choices that's what helps them advance in their lives and in their careers and just, generally make the world a better place for everyone so about. A month ago a, documentary. Came out called. Paywall. The business, of scholarship, I think we're gonna find out and. It, was released for free for everyone and it talks about the, world, of scholarly. Publishing the, cool thing about the documentary though is that the guy who made it he released, it under what is known as a creative commons 4.0. License or CC, by which. Basically means anyone, can take it and do whatever the heck they want with it as. Long as they discredit him and point them point. Viewers towards the source so. Here. We are so. I attended, a screening of this after, watching it on my own with a bunch of librarians and the, general consensus, was like this is cool but it's kind of preaching to, the choir and. So I wanted, to see, if I could do something to help make it more, accessible to everyone so, what, I have done is I have, taken the movie and I have added a few things to it I've added little captions, so. To describe breakout, acronyms for folks who've never experienced. Anything in the world of open or in scholarly communications, I added. The, speaker's Twitter handles in the top left. Corner, sorry I'd to think of which side was left so. That if you want to tweet people with questions about specific, things they have said you know exactly where to do that and. I, have. Put, it here on YouTube with, this lovely chat window and. The cool thing about the shat window is before. This video got published I reached, out to a number of folks and organizations.
To, See if they might be able to send someone to sit in on the chat and. Answer. Questions as they come up for the layperson now we might not have a very large group, of people here right now but, that's fine because this is going to be on YouTube forever. Or at least as long as YouTube, exists, and they let me keep it I figured that this would be a really good way a really novel way of taking advantage of this new YouTube premiers feature to. Put. The, experts, in contact. With everyone, else and. So, by, all means take advantage of the people now for those of you watching this video in the future after it's been released I know you can't, be a part of the chat but, what you can do is you. Can actually make. A comment, below and you can put a timestamp in it so that others who watch it in the future and myself we, know exactly what you're talking about so to do that what you do is you write your. Comment, and, in the comment put the time code so if this, is showing, at like 4, minutes and 15 seconds what you would type is 4 :. 1, 5 just. Like that and then the rest of your comment and then anyone who wants to see what you're talking about can click that because it will become a link and. See exactly, what's being talked about so go, ahead and comment. Away throughout the course of this go ahead and give it a try now if you want to but don't feel obliged now. People, over in the chat if you would do me a favor and go ahead and start introducing. Yourselves give. Maybe your name your title and maybe your a social media handle Twitter, if, that's your choice so, that if people want to continue this discussion with you offline or online but. Off this video they can all right go, ahead and take. A minute to do that I'm. Just, gonna say now that this is brand, new and I don't know how this is going to work but I'm hoping, it's. Going to work out well as. For me if you want to tweet at me in, the future or now, you can always do so at at. The. Underscore. Muster or at stacks. At fax. Where. I will answer your questions so that's about it, but before we get started I want to say thank, you to a few people who. Have made this possible first to. The folks at UBC, library's some of you are in the chat thank you so much for making this happen second. To Jason for, making, this documentary I'm really. Really grateful that you published it under the Creative Commons license, so that I could do this I also want to thank everyone who participated in making this and all the folks who sat, down to be interviewed for the documentary. Your, guys's views, are very important, and, they help shine a light on a thing that the most most, people just don't know about and also I want to give a shout out to Creative Commons without. Having made the CC buy licenses and, the whole suite, of creative. Common licenses designed to help people, share information, in meaningful ways what. I have done here would, not be possible so thank you very much and of course thanks YouTube for doing, this thing okay. So hopefully that. Was enough time for introductions. Take. Note and let's. Just. Do, this all, right, oh and. Also I'm in the chat so you'll, see me as stack set facts so that's me okay ready let's. Do this on the count of three one. Two. Three. This. Is the state of things I'm Frank Stacia a lot. Of academic research, was paid for with public funding, but public access, is often restricted, by expensive, pay walls meanwhile. Some academic, publishing companies, have higher profit, margins, than companies like Walmart Google, and Apple but. There is a movement underway, that could turn the tide. Universities. Are about educating, humans, and there. Is literally. No, reason, to. Keep, information, from people. There, there, is nothing gained. Other than, money. And power. And things, that as people, we should want, to push up against, a lot, of money a lot of, money a, lot. Of money it's huge. Huge. Business billions. Of dollars, of business.
Academic. Publishing is a twenty five point two billion dollar a year industry, this journal by Elsevier, biomaterials. Cost an average ten thousand, seven hundred and two dollars for, yearly digital, subscriptions, is that, money well spent it's. Hard to say, in, 1995. Forbes, magazine, predicted that scholarly, research, would be the Internet's first victim, academics. Were progressive, and surely journals would lose power in revenue, with digital, distribution. 23. Years later this couldn't be further from the truth I think one thing we learn when we look at history is that humans are really bad at predicting the future and, this. Is something that the media they love to do and people who consume, media love to read it it's funny. We. Are sorry you, don't have the credentials to access this, documentary, please. See payment options below. The. Scholarly publishing industry, makes about a 35. To 40 percent profit margin in, different, years when I've looked at this you know Walmart's, making around 3%, and Walmart is like this evil, you know giant for a lot of people but it's 3% compared, to 35%, I mean I couldn't, flipped my own attitudes, now like Walmart's, not that bad compared, to some of these other players in, other industries, you know wealth, management industry is around 21% Toyota's. Around 12%, how. Is it ok for. This. Whole industry, to. Be making so much a profit, margin when there really aren't, any inputs, that, they have to pay for it what, other corporations, would you compare, with a sort of profit margin of that 30 to 35, I've, honestly never heard of, corporations. That have profit, margins out of that big in. Most other lines of lines of normal, enterprise. In business that kind of profit margin is the sign of some kind of monopoly logic, at work even. Though. People. Not in academia may not be reading a lot of these articles may not find them useful they. Are still paying for them your, tax dollars go towards, governments who then subsidize, universities. Who then provide funds to libraries, who, pay publishers, through subscription. Fees the. Journals, and the publishers, are getting your. Money whether. It's you or your neighbor everyone's, paying into this system and the. People benefiting, the most are our publishers, everybody. Deserves a profit margin but how can journals, journals. Have, a profit, margin larger, than some of the biggest tech companies, well. Publishing. Is so profitable cuz the workers don't get paid I mean, what. Other industry I can, think of none in which, the, primary workers, in this case the authors and reviewers get, paid nothing profit. Margins many. Respects, in the publishing is are second to none and a. Few years back I compared them to Facebook, and I realized they're, about the equivalent of the most successful, software. Companies, today in terms of margins of course Facebook has virtually infinite scale, and there's arguably. No more successful company the last five or ten years so. Publishing. Is obscenely. Profitable. And the. Because of it the. The, publishers, are no rush to see the world change they, there is a real, question as to why the margins are so high like 35% is higher than Google's margins what's going on there well. That that is you know simply because the. Pricing, power you know if you are Elsevier. Let's say you. Have proprietary. Access. You know you're selling a stream of content into University, and it's, not like you. Know go into the supermarket and if the you, know one beer is too expensive you choose another one you, know it's not like in the university, parent could say well the Elsevier papers are too expensive we'll just go with Wiley this year you, know you kind of need all them, and. So you you have, ability. To charge really. As much as you want and the universities, will, rarely actually, book they, might pretend to walk but the, reality, is their faculty you have to have access and that's, a very powerful position for the businesses, here, here's a problem in the market, the. Market exhibits what what sometimes. Called a moral hazard which doesn't really have anything with morality but an, economic term so moral, hazard comes about when the purchasers. Of a good are not the, consumers, of the good so. What is the good here in a traditional publishing market its access, you, know readership. Access, the. Consumers are people like me who want to read the articles the purchaser though are not me I don't tend to subscribe to journals the, Harvard.
Library, Spends. Huge, amounts of money subscribing. To a huge range of of journals. So, I'm. Pricing. Sensitive, to. These, journals. Because. I don't have to pay the bill the the, money is real right academic, publishing for journals is a ten billion dollar a year revenue. Producing, industry this is not chump, change this is a significant. Amount of money when, you think about a profit margin of 30, to 40 percent, taken. Out of that that could be put back into the research, enterprise whether, it's supporting more. Science, whether it's supporting, universities. You know hiring more researchers, paying more faculty making. College more affordable that. Financial. Aspect is a symptom, of just how out of alignment. This, commercial model is in trying to stay. Relevant in the research. Usually. We don't think, about. The. Relationship. Between. The. Profit, of such, companies. On the one hand and, the. Ever increasing. Tuition. Fees, at. Universities. But. It's also part of the story, we. Are not talking about a, marginal. Problem, we, are not talking about the, internal. Issues. Of the scholars, we. Are talking about very. Basic social. Problems, what. Will be the future of our societies, general. Prices have been increasing way. Above the level of inflation and well, above the rate at the of the growth of library, budgets for. Not just for years but for decades and it's been, get. A story just hours ago Anthem, College shut. Down st. Joseph's College will be closing its doors, Alexandra. Italian college is shutting, its doors, the abrupt closure leaves faculty, without jobs and thousands. Of students scrambling, to find another school the Academy writ, large has, not really, examined. The full cost, of scholarly. Communication, it's. Been really the library's, budgets, that have borne the brunt of that and we've often had to go hat in hand to the administration. To get increases. For. Serial. Up specifically, science, technology, medicine journals. That, have just had. A rapid, increase in price for whatever reasons. The publishers, may claim, for that and, for, profit to go up scarcity. Has to prevail welcome. To the world of paywalls blocking. Research, have. You hit pay walls absolutely. I. Had. A payroll frequently, have you ever had a pay wall oh, yes. I hit a pay wall quite often I'll find a pay wall yes when. I was a student I definitely. Hit a pay wall I hit barrels a lot how. Do you feel I feel really best, students. Graduates, get, their masters. Flow. Into those spin-off companies, and suddenly they discovered, that, they could not get access to. The. Research results that they need it because they were no longer, affiliated with, the University. They. Came knocking on my door and, I. Had, to tell them meant as a, librarian. I was. In this awkward, position that. I had. To block. Non-affiliated. Users. For access to publicly. Funded, research and, that. Is completely. Contrary to the mission of a library and a librarian, so, that was an eye opener you, mind tell us a little bit about yourself, I'm, Dwight Parker, in. The middle of my. Working. On a PhD in IDI psychology. I decided, to do I needed to take a break from, that and, I'm selling cars while, I was in the program I had access to lots of things but if. You once. You're outside that program if you those, same resources just aren't available to you at least they weren't to. Me anyway in you. Know the education, psychology was, mine and most, of the research done is government-funded, so that's taxpayer, money going. To fund research that they're then charging, for which, is a surge I mean it's absurd absolutely. Not, to mention it's a public good I mean certain you know academic research, and I need, to be able to access that research regardless, and I don't, have. $79.99. Her to. Do that. Not. Selling cars. Even, the coolest car in existence, I. Worked. For Elsevier I could afford it, yeah. Or, any one of those I mean you know it's such a. Anyway. You, know you guys are doing it you know it's, it's so the. Money, just corrupts, everything you know it's a it's to get the money at the government and everybody's, all and it's like the the. Science it's a lost honestly. It gets lost my. Wife, had. A pulmonary embolism and they're. Not sure why and nobody is still sure why she had a pulmonary embolism it could be a number of different things and so I started doing the thing I do which is get on the internet start doing research and you hit all these medical research pay walls where people are doing these studies about PE and I. Can't. Afford to. Spend the money to, read a research paper only to discover that it's not relevant to her to relevant to our situation it might be it might not be but there's not enough information in front of it for me to tell, but. It. Could save her life, the. Reason that we have research is we're trying to solve problems.
In The world we're trying to cure diseases we're, trying to figure. Out clean water we're trying to figure, out how to take poverty, to zero we're. Trying to completely, wipe out, particular. Disease states once and for all and if you want to do that we've got to make sure that everybody, has access not. Just rich countries not, just people who have PhDs but, everybody. Gets to read scientific, research, think. About it and then contribute their ideas and when, large portions, of the population don't, have access to research the odds of us solving big problems are, significantly. Lower the publishers, have been part of curating, the scholarly dialogue for centuries and, in. That respect they are vital at. The same time we, have, a, global, population, that. The. Vast majority does, not have access to research, about. Current. Developments in science medicine. Culture. Technology. Environmental. Science and are. Faced with the prospect of, trying. To make sense of the world without, access, to the best knowledge about it and in. Some sense that is, Adric Western. Universities, are really great. Funds for their libraries, so. They. Are in the they have the capacity diamond. Purchase the journals give access to their students, but. In context of developing countries, libraries. Are really poor, so you. Eventually end up doing everything on your own without any support from the University or college, and even if we're trying to approach your faculties, or professors, we get the same answers that we. Did it the same way and you'll have to do it the same way as well so it just keeps going and we don't get, a concrete result out of it so my. Research was more in very, fundamental physics. Special. Relativity there, and, many. Of these papers, again was you. Have to pay for them I would. Say I will never I never pay it for for, any paper especially, in the economy of the Venezuela, right now is even worth unfortunately, but, even when I was a student there, you. Just kind of take your credit card and buy something, from the internet, so. From the lack of access a, movement has sprung out and that movement is called open access. In, its simplest, form open-access, is, you know free and unencumbered access, to, information. Very. Simply is a way to democratize, information it's, to reduce disparity. And promote equality there's lots of academics, out there who can build on top of the research that's gone before if. They, have access to all of the research you might have some of the greatest minds, of our generation, living. Out in Central African Republic you, don't have access to any of the content so what can they build on top of this you know what can they how can they help move things further faster and I, think that, is what open access is all about it's it's, allowing. People who want access to, the knowledge to have access to knowledge and take. It further, I. Think. Being passionate about open access is, is, great. Where. I get concerned is. When, somebody's. Passion, for open access leads. Them to be unwilling, to think about the costs, of it as well as the benefits of it I I, get, concerned when open, access becomes a religion, or when, it becomes a halo that, that that.
Requires, You, to love. Whatever, it's placed, over if. We if we lose our ability or, worse, our willingness, to think. Critically to. Think as critically, and analytically about an open access model, as we do about a toll access, model then. We are no longer operating in the realm of reason, and science, we're now operating, in the realm of religion and. And, I've, got a I'm, a religious, person myself I've got nothing against religion but but. It's, important, not to confuse it with science I can. See how especially, if you're on the other side it would appear religious there's a lot of belief for, sure right it's a belief it's a belief based movement for, a lot of people but, a lot of the most powerful. Pieces of the movement come from, the. Biomedical, literature, from. Parents, who can't access it right. From family members who can't access it and and, those take on an element of witness, and testimony that is religious, at least in overtone right and, there's. There's real power in, witness, and testimony that's why they're part of a band Jellicle movements, and. We. Can have a nerdy. Conversation about, innovation, or I can give you an emotional story, which. One goes, more viral movements. Need to take all kinds of a movement sar bigger than organizations, that bigger than people when, they work right that's kind of why they work they take on this rolling. Avalanche, aspect. For, me why I'm doing this is because. Of the benefits, to research. Efficiency. I'm. Gonna see increased research efficiency, overall that's that's my overall goal if you said closed, science was the way to do that I would be supporting closed science but, that research efficiency. Comes with, increases. In quality, increases, in inclusivity, increases. In diversity increases. In innovation. Just. Having more people that can do something, is. A, benefit we have big problems to solve I was, very much involved deeply involved in, the, early days of open access in life sciences, and. The. Our hope was that open access will. Not. Only bring, the very significant. Change in. Access it, seemed completely, crazy that, most of research is not available, to most of the people who need it why had a visit to the University of Belgrade a few years ago and I. Was meeting with grad students, before my lecture, and we were going, around the room talking about what each researcher, did for. Their we're, working on for their thesis and almost, everyone in the room was working on implicit. Cognition and, it was amazing that there were so many students, working on this particular, research, and so I said why are, all of you doing this like what how is it become this this be the area that's so popular and, the, immediate response was well. We can access the literature in this area. What. Do you mean I say well if, there's a norm of all the leading researchers, in your field all of you put your papers online so. We can find them and we can know what's going on right now in this literature, that. We can't get access to in other sub disciplines I was, blown away by that right.
That They that, they made some decisions about what to study based, what they could access. When. I was, directing. The library, and, we, had made major, cuts in our. Subscriptions. Because. Of budgetary constraints, same sort of thing that the, libraries do and, we, did a series of focus groups to try to see how people. Were coping with that and one. Of the. People. Who really. Stood. Out to me was, a, young, MD. PhD, student, and, he had talked with his adviser and, his. Adviser said well these are these are interesting areas, read, widely in, these areas and. He said. So. I have to read widely. But. I realized, my ability, to read widely is, constrained. By what you. Have access to and. So. My, dissertation. Topic. Is, going, to be constrained, by. What. You are able to afford, because. I can't, get at and read this. Other material that you no longer have access to some, of the world's, greatest, challenges are. Not going, to be solved by one individual. Group, of researchers, and we, know that, interdisciplinary. Research. And collaboration is, the way to get to those solutions, faster and. Because. So many of those challenges, are so. Prevalent, clean, water food. Security global, warming, at there's Public, Health there's so many challenges. That need to be solved, that there's, no reason why we wouldn't want to do everything we can to drive, that collaboration, and intern able it to happen. Medical. Knowledge an incredible. Expertise, can. Be found in, every far corner of the world we just haven't tapped, into it too often so. A. Friend, of mine is a. Pediatric. Heart, surgeon at Stanford he. Would. Observe, when, he was visiting in India and went. To an institution that, has, now treated, ten times as many patients as him and they're. Able to get almost, as good results, as he gets in. And they, can do this between five and ten percent the cost and. To. Me that's genius that. Is genius and. You. Would think that we in the Western world would. Want to understand, what's. Going on in India as much as they would want to see what, we're able to do with all our marvels, of technology it's, an easy conclusion to draw that, scholarship, must, be open in, order for scholarship, to happen and so, it's sort of a curiosity, that it isn't already open, but, that's really, because.
Of The. History of how we got here ever. Since the Scarlet, journal was founded. Or created, in the mid 17th century authors. Have written for them without pay and they've, written for impact not for money to. Better understand, the research process we traveled to where research journals, originated, the Royal Society, of London I'm, Stuart Taylor I'm the publishing director here at the Royal Society the. Royal Society is Britain's National Academy of Science it was founded in 1660. As a society. Of the early, scientists, such as Robert Hooke and Christopher Wren a few years after that in 1665. Henry, Oldenburg here who's the first secretary, of the Society, launched. The world's first science, journal called Philosophical, Transactions and, that was the first time that the scientific. Achievements, and discoveries, of early scientists, was formally. Recorded, and that journal. Has essentially, set the model for what we now know today of science, journals embodying. The four principles, of archival. Registration. Dissemination. And verification. So. That means having your discovery. Associated. With your name and a particular date having, it verified, by review. By your peers, having. It disseminated. To other scientists, and also having it archived, for the future as. Soon as there were digital network scholars began sharing scholarship, on them ever. Since. Let's. Say the early 90s academics. Have been seriously. Promoting, open access not just using, the, network to distribute scholarship. And research but promoting. It and trying to foster. It for others it, may sound like I'm making this up but I really. Felt at the time and I was not a well in that if. You, have some. Wonderful. Idea or, you make some breakthrough, you like to think it's because, you. Had some. Inspiration. Or. You. Worked. Harder. Than. Anyone else but you don't like to, think it was because you had privileged, access to information and, so, you, know part of my intent. In. 1991. Was just to level the playing field that, is give, everybody access, to, the same information at. The same time, and not have these you know disparities. In access. 40%. Of all, the papers published, in the New England Journal of Medicine and the, New England Journal Medicine is arguably the most impactful, journal of the world but, 40%, of. The, authors came from 150. Mile radius of Boston. Which is where the New England Journal of Medicine is headquartered. Publishing. Is really an insider's, game, those. Of us who are insiders, have, much greater access to, publishing. And also even reading, those become from the richer institutions. A lot. Of people who, are. Suffering as a result of, the. Current, system in academia, they. Love doctors, who would benefit, from having, the, latest information, about, what. The best kids give to the patients, there's. So much research that has been done already it's. Ridiculous, sometimes when you. Try to access a paper, that was written in 1975. And. It's still behind a paywall, it, doesn't make any sense research. Journals, have come a long way since 1665. We, now have the ability to reach many around the globe simultaneously for. Next to nothing and that is, a huge benefit, for scholars. Many. Authors think that if they publish in a, conventional. Journal especially, an important. Conventional. Journal a high prestige. A high impact high quality, conventional, journal they're, reaching everybody, who cares about their work that's.
False They're. Reaching everybody who, is lucky enough to work at an institution, that's wealthy enough to subscribe, to that journal and even. If those journals are relative. Bestsellers, or if their must-have journals that all libraries, try. To subscribe, to their still libraries that cannot subscribe, to them many, libraries, have long since cancelled. There must have journals just because they don't have the money so authors. Get the benefit of a wider audience. And. By. Getting a wider audience they get the benefit of greater impact because you can't, have impact on your work your work cannot be built, upon or cited or taken up or used unless. People know what it is and most. Scholars write for impact part, of what, academics. Do is study questions, try to figure out some insight, about what. They've learned about a phenomenon, and then share that with others so. That those others can then say Oh what. About this what about that are, you sure or oh yeah let me use this in some new way so. Really scholarship. Is a conversation and the, only way to have a conversation, is. To know what, each other is saying and, what the basis is for what they're saying and. So you openness, is fundamental, to scholarship. Doing what it's supposed to do it's. One of those original myth, about open access so there's no peer review there's lower quality, and so forth and we, know that when. You put your stuff out in the open, people, notice, if you you, know if you be, asked you're way out there you'll, be caught very quickly if you. Miss, something important. In terms of a piece of evidence someone, will. Point you to it if you, are not, careful with your argument, you will miss a piece of important, literature, someone, will tell you that and so you as a researcher, will benefit, from these from, these observations, and criticisms. And another, thing so your, research would be better not lower. Quality, as a result, of it if. You don't work in this space you don't have any context, you don't have any concept of the sort. Of dramatic impact. That that these tensions. Are gonna have on everyone you know when you see the EPA take down its climate change section. Of its website there's. There's real concrete impacts, to, not, having information be available, there's. Plenty of free information out there and we all know how problematic, you can be just because it's free doesn't make it good just because it's paid for doesn't, make it bad and I think that's the tension that, um. This, community is always gonna have to to, deal with of, course in the very early days of open.
Access Movement and, open access journals, this. Notion that open. Access publishing. Is, not. Of high quality was. Very predominant but. That has changed now open. Access to us does not at all, denigrate. The level of peer, review you know if anything, you, know it's going to be even even, better the. Reward system, in many, countries in many developing countries still. Mirrors, our own in the UK in the US but we did a survey. Recently asking. About our researchers. Perceptive, perceptions, of, open access and lots of them you. Know we're saying great open access exactly, what we need we need to tell the whole world about our research everyone, needs access this. Is great and however. When we ask the researchers, what their priorities, were for. Journals. Where they wanted to publish their journals the top things were impact. Factor, indexing. And at, the bottom of the list was, open access so. Whilst. They were saying. Great things about open access it's. Unfortunately. Because of the reward structures, is nearer. The bottom because, they still need to progress their career open, access has been with us for some time. The. Impact, has, not been as. Quick as I expected. And. I'm. Kind, of. I'm. Kind of worried, that in the next five years, how. Fast are we going to move oh is. There a reason, that you know that, research. Journals, are so. Lethargic. To, change well, you might call them resilient. I. Think. There is a certain degree of lethargy as. You, know. Academics. Are probably the most conservative people, on the planet you know yes they. May be innovating. With their research but academic. Structures, are very. Slow to change the, academic, community is very very conservative. It's. Very, hard to change make. Significant, system. Changes, in the academic community our process, for tenure, now is, the same as it was 150, years ago, Oh toes. Are very aware, that. Their chances of progress, continue. In jobs getting fundings whole, aspect, of their careers depend. On where they publish, and. This. Need. Created. A sort of prison, in which authors cannot, have an alternative. Way to publish, except. To publish in those journals that, are most likely to help them in their careers one, of the big obstacles for, open access is, actually the, current resource assessment, and Genoa and all these things. Because. The still. Is a tendency, to say, ok if you publish four papers in some, of the higher ranked journals you. Are producing better research it might be so that those. Papers. Will. Never be cited or never read but. They take the. Journal impact factor. As a proxy for quality, and we. Know all of us that it, is subject to gaming, and fraud, the. Impact factor is actually the, average number of citations, that. That journal. Gets. Over, it's, a two-year, window. The. Impact factor is, a perverse. Metric. Which has somehow. Become. Entrenched, in, the evaluation. System and the, way researchers. Are assessed, across. The world you can charge. For. A Gucci, handbag a hell of a lot more than you can for one that you just pick off the high street impact factors have hoped perverted, the whole, system, of scholarly communications, massively. And even their founder, Eugene. Garfield said they should not be used in this way then. You must, begin, to wonder that you know there's something something wrong and the, faux scientific. Nature of them you know the fact that they're accurate to three decimal places where they're glik really not you, know giving this this, this this. Pseudo. Scientific feel to the, Royal Society a few years ago signed something called the San Francisco, declaration, on research assessment or Dora for short which.
Essentially, Calls. Institutions. And funders to assess. Scientists. In ways, that don't use the impact factor so. Going much more back to peer review and actually looking at the work itself, rather, than simply relying. On a metric, which, many people believe to be a very flawed metric, but. The way of addressing the problem is, to start. Divorcing, the. Assessment, of an academic from, the journals in which they're publishing and if you're able to evaluate an academic, based on the research that they produced on their own rather, than where that research has been published I think you can then start, to allow researchers. To publish, in you. Know journals that provide better service, better access, lower cost all of these things journals. Is a highly selective reject, work, that is perfectly. Publishable. And perfectly good. But, they reject it because it's not a significant. Advance it's not going to make the headlines in the same way as a, paper. On disease or stem, cells might so it gets rejected, and then goes to another journal go, through another round of peer review and, you can go through this through several, cycles and in fact the rationale. For launching. PLoS ONE was. Exactly. To. Try and and stop, that rounds. And rounds of wasted. Both scientists. Time reviewers, time. Atlases. Time and ultimately you, know at the expense of of science, and society the, time it takes to, go through the, top-tier, journals, and. To. Maybe. Not make it and then have to go to another journal locks, up that that, particular bit of research in a. Time, warp it is in the interests of research funders who are paying you know millions, or billions of dollars to fund research every year for. That research to then be openly available there, have been a lot of different ways to come at this and a lot of people have said let's be incremental first, we'll create what's, called green open access where, you'll just provide access to the content, but no usage rights that are associated with that the. Gates Foundation said. That's. Only half a loaf we're not in the half a loaf business, if you're, gonna do this go all the way and. I really applaud them for not, wanting, to take the middle step they have enough foresight. And frankly. Leverage. To demand getting. It right the first time around from. The Foundation's perspective, we're able to through, our funding, work. With our grantees to say yes. We're going to give you this money and yes we want you to do certain you know scientific and technical research and yield. A particular outcome but, we want you to do it in a particular way and one. Of the ways that we want people to work is to ensure that the results of what they do is broadly. Open, and accessible and along. With that we want to ensure that not. Only the, money that we spend directly, are on our you know investments, in new science and technology, yield. A tangible. Benefit, to those people but we'd also like to see it have a multiplier, effect so. That you know the information the results of what we fund in gets, out for. Broader, use by the scientific, community the, academic community to to build on and to sort. Of accelerate, and expand the results, that were achieving. What. Comes to mind when you hear of Elsevier. Oh. My. Goodness. Yes. Elsevier. It's, a it's a pain in the neck for us in Africa, because. Their. Prices are too high for us they. Don't want to come down you know. I think we, can say that. Elsevier. Is a. Elser. Is actually a good contributor to the publishing community Elsevier. What comes to mind. Well. A. Level, of profit, that i i i. I. Think, is unfortunately. Unpalatable, and, insupportable, because, written from a universities point of view of course it's all public funds their. Licensing. Practices which, have certainly evolved over time you know if we look at Elsevier's, the. Reuse or commercial. Practices over the past 10 years i think they've, made. A lot of changes that i made themselves more, author or researcher, friendly so.
There's. Definitely an. Evolution. There, these, publishers so whenever we publish something there so, this is financed. By our departments. This is kind of public money so. We are paying the money but, they are closing, it I would, never characterize, them as a bad actor I think. They do a lot of good for supporting. Innovation and kind, of cross. Industry, initiatives. There's, a lot of reasons, why people. Focus. On Elsevier's, kind of the bad guy, have. A look at that on your boys all online their profits, are up their dividends are up they're doing very well, they. Made couple, of billion pounds in profit last year and, by and large. Does, our industry. Treat. Researchers, well do, we act. Effectively, as a responsible, Midwife for these important. Scholarly. Concepts, or ideas. And. Make. Them accessible to the world and distribute them or. And reinvest, in the community I would, say yes I. Personally. Think that Elsevier. Has. You. Know comes in for a lot of bad press some of it is deserved, and earned I think I also, think they have made a lot of smart innovations. In publishing, that we have all learned from I remember, when I moved to UC press I had moved from 20. Years in commercial publishing into the nonprofit University, Press oil and it, turned out that one of the main. Concerns that some of the staff had was that I was going to turn UC press into Elsevier. Which. Of course has not happened. But. I, was. Seriously I think that those of us in the sort of nonprofit, publishing. World can, actually learn a lot from big, competitors, I worked. For Elsevier for a year so I have to say you know disclaimer, I also work for 15 years for nonprofit. Scholarly societies and I was a journal publisher and in. Both, of those environments, there, are different environments, and for. Me my view of commercial publishers, was shaped by my experience, coming out of a scholarly society, I worked, for the American Astronomical Society where, our core, mission was to, get the science into the hands of the scientists, when they wanted it the way they wanted it I went, to a, commercial. Publisher, I was, recruited by them I thought I was going to do more of the same but, that was really not the job the job was managing, a set of journals to a specific, profit margin and that just wasn't my. Cup of tea it didn't mesh with the values that I have so I went back into, not-for-profit. Publishing I do think. It's. They're, not it's, not that they're bad entities, but, their their. Goal. Is to. Return profits, to their, shareholders. They, are not mission driven organizations. And that's fine they're commercial companies, my, question, is right. Now in the 21st. Century when. We have these other mechanisms that can enable the flow of science are they helping or hurting and, I would. Like to see them adjust their models to be a little bit more helpful rather than harmful there there are absolutely, just criticisms. That can be leveled at Elsevier there are just criticisms, that can be leveled at PLoS there. Are just criticisms. That can be leveled at anyone, and anything I, don't, I I try, not to judge the legitimacy, of a criticism based on its target I try. To judge the legitimacy, of a criticism based on its content oh. Yeah. Good as someone's made you or someone service you, know I'm you. Talk about what. Kind of company, else fair is the. Hostility, that they, they. Sometimes get it's, not just about the, money it's, about the kind, of company, they are right, it's, the actions, they take often. Their antique, Lisieux so when they send takedown. Notices, to academia.edu, my. Academics, had put up some PDFs, of their research and it was water taken down. Obviously. The lawsuit, against iHub, as well in 2015. And, yes. Both of those things were illegal, but, the academic, community doesn't. Care. It doesn't really see them in that way when. I got the takedown words I didn't, get the. Takedown notice, directly, from Elsevier, they, sent it to an, official. At Princeton, in the notice itself it. Only mentions a handful. Of papers. By. Two academics. At Princeton, now, if you look at Princeton's. Websites, there are probably hundreds, if not thousands. Of. PDFs. Have published Elsevier, papers so why did they only target those, small. Number of papers and those, just those two researchers. So I don't know this for sure but I suspect, it's because they were testing the waters, you know the nothing's presenting, preventing, elsevier from doing a web crawl finding all the published, PDFs issuing. Massive, takedown notices to everybody, who's violating, their copyright, agreement, but they don't do that and. I they do that because I think they're trying to tread softly they don't want to create.
A Wave of anger that will completely. Remove the source of free labor that they depend on so, critically, now as it happened I. Was. Grateful to Princeton. For pushing, back against, them and eventually they rescinded. The takedown notice, and so I think that, they. Have a sort of taste of. What. It would mean to, to. Really go up against, the body of scientists as a whole, just. The way that our survey, thinks as an organization, is just, antithetical. To how, I, think. A lot of academics, think about what. What it what it is that they do we, send Freedom, of Information requests. To every. University, in the UK so. In 2016. Our severe, received, 42, million pounds, from UK, universities, the, next biggest publisher, was wily and that was a 19, million elsewhere, Wiley, Springer, talen Frances and sage between. Them they, take, about half of the money and the rest is read out elsewhere. In particular are a big, big. Lobbyists in in, the European Union and in in Washington, as well employ. A lot of staff at basically full time lobbyists they, have, regular. Meetings with governments. Around the world in, order to get. Across their point of view there's, some. Notion. That, publishers. Have that. Publishing. Has to be very expensive and. That, publishing, requires. Publicists. And copy. Editors, PR. Agents. Managing. Editors and so on so, many academic, institutions, to cope with the burdensome costs have. Elected to buy research, journals, in a big-deal format, as opposed, to specific journal, titles each. Institution, for. The most part negotiates. You, know with each publisher for access. To, generally. That yeah publisher's entire corpus, of research or a large portion of it and what's called a big deal, so the subscription, packages, which most libraries, are involved, in because. We can save more money or, definitely. Like cable subscriptions, you get a lot of content you might not always like all the programming, but. If you want to pay just for individual, titles, the price goes up exponentially, and you can't afford it, so, we're stuck in contracts, with, content, that we may or may not need to try to keep the price down however. They. Can remove content from the package without notice, so, if a publisher decides, that they don't want a vendor to have a certain piece, of content in their package anymore it can be removed immediately, that. Doesn't mean you can cancel, the contract that just means you no longer have access and we have no control over that, although. Most institutional. Access, to current research operates. Like cable, subscriptions, we, found one library, that has stood it's tangible, ground. What. We had to find was, a reason, for us to, be valuable to, the research community how, could we add value to this proposition, even. Though we cannot, support. The, rising cost of electronic, publications, and we realized that we could do that by remaining a print-based library, you can't have a plug, hold on tangible. Journals no we can't we. Can't and if the power fails, you. Know we still have access to content, by flashlight, you. Don't need a login or, an, institutional. Affiliation, to use our library, we, are open to the public even, though we are privately funded we, are publicly, available you. Don't need to login anybody, can access it, in the modern world all of a sudden print-based, seems pretty forward leaning maybe. Half of our problem was getting roped into digital negotiations. In the first place. So imagine a, market. For cable television where, you don't know and you can't find out what your next-door neighbor is paying for the same package that you have how, much are you paying for HBO I can't tell you I signed. A nondisclosure with. Comcast libraries. Universities, do that all, the time commercial, publishers can capture all of what's called.
The Consumer surplus they. Don't need to pick a price point that maximizes. Their you, know revenue or profit across, the entire market, they can negotiate that price point with, every single institution. And. That's important right because it's like if you. Know you were buying healthcare and the. Doctor could look at your financials, and be like well, if you want this treatment and you know they know you're a millionaire then it costs you know five hundred thousand dollars whereas. If you're you, know somebody that doesn't have as much money they can charge less, but still make a good return I feel like in many ways that's sort of how the, publishing market functions, right the publishers can look at the endowment how, wealthy, and institution is how much they've paid over, you, know previous decades, and. Then charge right up to the level that they think is possible there's. A lot of choice in here for libraries libraries. Don't have to sign those contracts, and. Public. Universities like University, of Michigan have made a point of being much more transparent, about what we pay for things and the, Big Ten academic, alliance of which we're part does. A lot of, transparent. Work with each other so. I set off to test the Big Ten's transparency. Unfortunately. I was met with more of the same. I always. Sympathize, with the librarians, who. Rail. Against, Elsevier but my response always to them is, cancel. You. Don't cancel we can't cancel you can cancel but, you have to make that choice and nobody. Does so they keep they keep going strong yeah. And I think that's just you know that's all the process of negotiation, it's a traditional, Thai. Factor, of collections. Work, in libraries and there's a lot of issues with that but it's um it's part of a negotiation. Type, of thing and I don't see that changing at, all could, a university, like Rutgers, tell somebody, what they pay for you, know we wouldn't know because your. Contract. Lee mountain not - yeah and I mean it's this is the way it works so again it's not up to me to comment on that particular, aspect but, it is the way it works and it's, the way it works with all publishers, not just the ones you hear about but it's um you know it's it's I, don't know what I could compare it to but it's it's how it works so, I, don't I don't think there's gonna be a change in that anytime soon you. Know I understand, why a library, wants to get a competitive advantage or, wants to demonstrate that they are getting. An. Economic, benefit getting a larger group of content. And. Institutional. Libraries are very different from each other and some have to really demonstrate, different, sorts of value but, it is a choice libraries, don't have to sign confidentiality, clauses. It's. Often done in return, for a what. Looks like a competitive advantage in the short term but. In the long term it's, not a competitive advantage it, reduces, price transparency, and increases. The risk of paying, more as, well as potentially, paying less its, fractally, secret, right everything's a trade secret at every, level how. Much this cost who paid what what the terms were and. That's on purpose it. Prevents collective bargaining right.
And All these things essentially, maintain a, really. Radically, unfair, market, there. Are some people who believe that there's. Enough money right now. In scholarly, publishing that, it just has to be moved around we, don't need to find more money, we. Just need to change. The way it's, in a system, there's, been a growing collective. Of journals, that find it advantageous to, flip away from the for-profit paradigm. So, in the case of lingua. Glossa what, happened is that that community, of researchers decided that it was enough and then the editorial, board or resigned, and then, started another journal, on. A non-for-profit, platform. Open access etc, there's not that many cases of moves. Like that but what this example shows is that it can indeed work so the entire community, or the, leaders of that community because that's basically what an editorial board, is, the, leaders of that community decided, to resign collectively, everyone on the board resigned and, then, started a new journal with exactly. The same focused. And in a way the, exact same quality because, what gives the quality, of a journal it's not the imprint, of the publishers, it's actually the editor-in-chief and did the editorial, board who make the you, make all of the scientific decisions, my name is Johan Rourke I'm a professor of French linguistics at Leiden University and. I. Am. Also an editor of. Journal. I first. I was for 16, years the editor of lingua, at Elsevier, in 2015. We decided, to leave Elsevier, and to, found an, open access journal, called. Klose basically. Just the, Greek translation of the Latin name to, show the continuity, so the organization, of lingua was like we had. 500. Years total so small. Editorial, team for associate, editors me as the executive, editor and then, we had an editorial board of about 30 people I had prepared all of this two years ahead of time so I mean El Sofia knew nothing until we until. We flipped so. For two years between 2013. 2015. I had already talked, to a number of people on the editorial, board but. Of course everything under under, under the radar and I. Had already talked to all the members of my editorial, team to say look I am, busy, preparing this, if we, do this are you with me or are you not with me because I have to know because. We all do this together, or we, don't and so. I all looked them in the eye. And they all said yes if if, you manage to do this we do it Elsevier's. Editorial, body at lingua shifting, to the open access equivalent. Glossa set, a precedent, of how, is successful. In a respected, journal could, change its business model and yet, maintain fuelled, specific, credibility, quality. Peer review and overall. Impact, we. Live in a culture that really prioritized a startups and innovation, and entrepreneurship and the. Reality, is that right. Now there is literally one company, that can innovate on the scholarly literature in its group. And. That's you know Google's great I use Google for everything, like most people but I would. Kind of like it if there were a hundred companies. Competing. For that I would kind of like it if, nonprofits. Could compete with them and try to create alternatives. That said you know what maybe this shouldn't be a commercial, product it should be a utility and that. Kind of competition isn't possible without open access that kind of competition is baked into open access and, and. You know you see this from the large commercial publishers, you see them understanding, that this is actually an important, argument and so, they let the little they put like a little drink straws in you, dribble. Out little bits of content that you can do text mining on, we. Can make cars that can drive. You're. Telling, me we can't process the literature better if. A car can drive itself, because. Of the computational, powers we have available and there are there are more companies competing, to make self-driving, cars, than. There are to process, the biomedical, literature and help us decide what drive to take and. That is a direct consequence, of lockup of the literature that's, a fundamental. Problem, we. Started advocating in Congress for, tax, payer access, to taxpayer-funded, research outputs the, most common response we got in our initial, office visits was you, mean the public doesn't already have access to this like, there was a disbelief. Among. Policymakers, that. This was to them the. Words no-brainer, comes, to mind researchers. Want their, work to be read they, want to advance discovery, and innovation, and.
While I spend a lot of time fighting over why, work should be open versus, closed at. The end the, real case is do we want innovation or, do we know want innovation and I think there is an obvious, case for openness, to. Unlock innovation, we're. Seeing a lot of very. Inventive. Resistance. To this from some of the incumbent, publishers. But. I think. There's, also a generational. Factor here I think the the, younger generation, of. Scientists. Of students, of academics. Just. The. Old model doesn't make sense anymore. The public, should be ashamed for allowing. A model. Like that to. Exist, we, have today. A set, of tools, to. Share, knowledge, including. Academic research in, a way that we couldn't twenty years ago you know seeing in our. Engagement. With the the, academic sector, and by. That I'm referring specifically, to our grantees. So we make, grants to academic, institutions and, it's, then the academics, that work there that do the work there's. A much, stronger. Appreciation. For. The role of open, access to the results of their research you. Know they they see it as being something that is a benefit, to them as researchers, to be able to have access to information. Data. And so forth as being generated, by others and so there's much more comfort, with. This notion of. Information. And data being open and accessible, I'm. Never sure of the right solution, actually when I talk to publishers, I think can. I can, I do this, or can't I do this you know there. Are so many questions, about, about. Copyright. There are so many questions about intellectual. Property there. Are so many questions about what. Individual. Authors, can and can't do if they decide to go and. Publish with a particular, journal, it. Just feels like a it, just. Feels like there's so many questions with each interaction. One. Outlet that has streamlined, scholarship. Is that of sigh hub which, continues, to connect individuals, directly with the scholarship, they need when. They need it for, free. You. Know those of us who work in scholarly communications, writ. Large right. Really. Have to look at sigh hub as sort. Of a pokin the side that says do better we. Need to look. To Sai hub and say what, is it that we could be doing differently about, the infrastructure, that we've developed to. Distribute, journal. Articles to distribute. Scholarship. Because sigh ugh cracked the code right. And they did it fairly easily and I think that we need to look, at what's happening with Sai hub how. It evolved, who's using it who's accessing, it, and let, it be a lesson to us for. What we should be doing differently. Aleksandra. Oh my god oh yes, is that a practice, a how that. We should have suteki a pretty lenient artichoke. Petrobras, 11 connect regard symptom, the. Worst Oh total. Waste, stores, totally private net C, pneumoniae is machine yet a safe harbor. Dos. A. Bunch. Of solutions, that he did he said committee one of any brief secrete. Endoscopy, Ceja. Frieda, style, dost, okay tomorrow blow my she was 90s, dealer forward cretin. Stop. Iran Pareto Kotori Feder stylishly, he must reduce the ocean get a waste ocean income people. Use. Websites. Like sigh hub considered, the pirate of. Academic. Publishing it's it's like the Napster of academic. Publishing I, know. They've been in, legal battles with Elsevier, who shut them down they just opened up in our different website it's still up and running and more, popular, than ever so if I had to give advice to graduate, students or people, not affiliated, with, institutions. That provide access to a lot of these journals sigh, hope miss a great resource, it provides it for free a lot of people don't feel guilty about using these resources just like when Napster came out because the industry at present, is making.
Too Much off of the people who, are giving, of themselves and, doing, great research and, they're being taken advantage of so to, take advantage of publishers, and get articles for free that are actually being used to educate or, to develop. Things. That are used for the public good it's it's a trade-off that a lot of people are willing to make and. I'm not completely against, it you, look delicious let's. Take world with a stupid. East Emilia one of sketchy and only 6:30. Today. So stupid, to be lower than Miss catcher in you then, you India. Didn't, ask me all those scotch or anything. I'm. Sacha Brasilia, you know France. A cute item. Today. Is. T. Meaning all of discussion, in Ocean's thirteen you. Know I like those acts of what I could would consider civil disobedience, I think they're important, I think, they're. A moment, when we can should, have open discussion, around them and I, fear that the. Openness. Of the discussion, is there's. No nuance at all it's either it's as we've heard so, I hope equals evil like it just has to so. I hope basically, is illegal, it. Is a totally. Criminal. Activity. And. Why. Anybody, thinks it's, appropriate to. Take somebody, else's intellectual, property, and just steal. It basically, I. That. Bothers me it's, not only about people, who don't have access, it's. It's even being used by people in institutions I, have full access because, it works in a very simple. And efficient way what. What sigh hub shows, is the level. Of frustration amongst. Many academics, about the number of times they encounter, a paywall, marketing, video, later, what. A pretty, large group retains. Acousto, say huh not, afraid the whole tourist, a know. If this park we talked oh yeah totem. Up graduate notion is that lady who I misspoke, word dr.. Amiya. Stood for my homogeneous, equipment, Noah Community College's a community, on our first principle no she just wants a friend of Georgian. I. Just. Feel like we're in the middle we're in this interstitial, period, and everyone wants it to be done as opposed. To just saying you know what none. Of us really has a clue what's gonna happen, in the next 15 20 years. All. We know is that we're at the edge of falling. Off the cliff that music fell off of with naps, that's what's I hope shows me right is there. Would not be a demand for sigh hub if we if we had been successful, or if the publishing industry had been successful, right. Arguably. What we did was create the conditions, right. On, both sides us and the publishing industry that led to this moment and, so. You. Know now that you see the potential, of a system that. Lets you find any paper. I've been using so I have to collect my dad's papers, right, my dad died earlier this year it. Was a Nobel laureate for. His work and climate change I'm trying, to build an archive of all his papers so I can give it to my son all, right can't, do it price, would be in the tens of thousands of dollars I. Did. I'm not the only person who needs papers I'm not the only person who's doing it this way, I'm. Not trying to redistribute, these things right. I'm literally printing them out into a book right, and I'm it's just a staple and a staple it for, my son right so he knows his granddad, and his granddad did cuz he won't remember it, that's. A market, failure, that's. A tremendous, market failure. Priorities. Are going to change and. I. Believe that Elsevier's. A business, full of smart people who want, discovery. To happen but, don't have a better idea on how to make money in, the middle and. Unfortunately. For them the. Internet is the story of breaking down gatekeepers. And, they're. The gatekeeper, standing. Between in. Some cases. Research. And discovery. Louis. If you don't see that of c-double-a summer hopefully are amazed at Easter that's a, first. Mentions. To us that he would cut or schedule. A Quincy chili I knew the brilliant, Severus, call site assigns direct.
What. Most of us is some way company. To what maneuver children it's a devious. Making. Uncommon. Acknowledge, carbon, toys God look. At my car cell generation car shows progress a terrible day as I have a Impa, my guy poacher it's really, the white would look, nice. If. Someone's. Research is behind a paywall and it. Stops, me, from doing, research in that field in, my lifetime, how. Many more lifetimes do we have to wait for somebody else to be able to take that evolutionary step. Sometimes. Innovation. Is the right person in the right place at, the right time and all a paywall does is ensure, that it's a lot less likely that, the right person is going to be in the right place at the right time to, get something done. Every. Kid learn. You. Gotta share what you have if. I give what I got. You. Will give right, back. We. Make things together. Better. Than we make them alone. And. When, we create, we