Wednesday, April 18, 2012

A broken system

Opinion: Academic Publishing Is Broken
The current system by which academics publish their scientific discoveries is a massive waste of money.
 
 Not the first article on this topic, and certainly not the last, it does serve as a nice introduction if you've never thought about it that much.

With government-funded researchers providing the writing, the editing, the reviewing, and even most of the formatting, you might think that the publishers who benefit from all this would be able to do their part very cheaply, and that subscription prices would be low and falling fast. Not a bit of it: at a time when library budgets are being progressively squeezed, Elsevier—the biggest of all the academic publishers—reports a 2011 profit of £768 million on revenue of £2,058 million, an astonishing 37.3 percent, compared for example with Apple’s 24 percent profit margin in their record-breaking 2011. This makes 2011 the fifth consecutive year in which Elsevier’s profit margin has increased.

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