Saturday, September 8, 2018

Paywall: The Business of Scholarship

Paywall: The Business of Scholarship (Full Movie) CC BY 4.0 from Paywall The Movie on Vimeo. I thought this was an interesting documentary. It does a decent enough job of describing a legitimate problem and some of the possible solutions. The presentation is fairly nuanced. I finished watching it with the feeling that open source journals as a standard could potentially work, but there would be some unintended consequences. I note this simply because we do need to keep some nuance as we try to figure out better ways of conveying our work to our peers and to the public. There are solutions that might sound cool, until you realize that individual scholars would have to shell out thousands of dollars to publish, which would pretty much keep some of the status quo: those researchers who have little in the way of a personal budget or institutional budget will get shut out, and the problem of transferring taxpayer money to support publicly funded research will remain in place. I don't know of easy answers, but I do know that the current status quo cannot sustain itself indefinitely.

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