Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Harvard University library wants an open-access system for academic journals

Harvard University in Cambridge MA has said it wants its professors and researchers to make their publications open-access and to “resign” from established academic journals that keep their publications behind expensive paywalls. 

There is a story by Ian Sample in the Guardian here
Harvard says its library can no longer afford the outrageous subscription prices for so many journals. Harvard probably believes it is expressing the sentiment of most traditional universities. 
But academic publishing is used to a business model that makes it profitable, including peer review by unpaid post-doc’s or other students. 

One business model would have professors or universities pay for the peer review and publishing, but then make the publications free.  But some object to the idea of this form of “self-publishing” in academia, and believe the process should be selective.  And professors need to be compensated for the results of their research -- even like proving the 4-Color Problem!
The tragic history of Aaron Swartz (centered on MIT) went right to the heart of the issue. 

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