[lbo-talk] A public square

Joseph Catron jncatron at gmail.com
Sun May 20 23:41:10 PDT 2007

How about the racket of high-end academic publishers who solicit articles from professors, pay the authors little or nothing, then sell them back to the same institutions that funded the research for thousands of dollars? The professors have little choice but to go along with it, since their tenure and promotions rely upon publication in prestigious sources. And the institutions need the articles for their ongoing research.

This scandal is one of the single biggest drags on academic librarianship. By way of example, the physics library at my alma mater, which was left unguarded 24 hours a day, contained a slim quarterly journal which cost $25,000 a year. I was always tempted to make the modest effort necessary to steal the collection, but refrained. (Scruples aside, what the hell would I have done with a stack of physics journals?)

If anyone's interested in learning more about this disgracful situation, a Google search for "academic journal pricing crisis," minus the quotation marks, will reveal a wealth of information.

On 5/21/07, joanna <123hop at comcast.net> wrote:

> Chuck wrote:
> > Don't get me started on how public libraries are using taxpayer money to
> >
> >subsidize large publishers. The evil side of Harry Potter.
> >
> Get started. That's a very interesting topic. I would have guessed there
> would be a conflict of interest...."publishers sell less because I can
> get their books at the library...."
> Could you say more?
> Joanna

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