Corruption in open access publishing?

Now a days, technology makes the information more accesible than ever where academia is not the exception. Publishing science is taking new approaches to facilitate broad access to the most recent evidence.

35082857Free access to research findings can accelerate discovery since individuals involved in science can read and enhance their investigations from others findings without restriction. Moreover, in high education Open access provide the opportunity to professors and students to improve education by acquiring the latest research findings throughout the world.

Even grant funding agencies such as NIH are demanding publications to be publicly accessible to reach broader audiences. However, publishing in open access journals includes a high cost which most of the times is transferred to the authors. Is estimated that the cost to publish peer-reviewed articles in open access journals ranges between $1,350 USD . to $3,500 USD. Therefore, a conversation on the profits and business behind open access is arising which could lead in knowledge corruption in academia.

So, what can be done to avoid corruption and maintain veracity about scientific open access publishing?




You make a great point here. If open access journals aren’t charging for subscriptions to their journals, they have to make money some other way. I saw a tweet from a professor I follow who suggested that we should just email researchers individually and ask for their papers, since they can legally send them to you at no charge (the charge you would pay to a journal would go directly to the publisher, not to the researcher). I’m not sure I like the idea of relying on someone else to reply to your email in order to access papers, but it seems like the only free option is to publish in a closed-access journal so that people can find them and be willing to send your papers to anyone who asks for them.


It is no doubt that the high cost of publishing is a barrier. If you do not have grant funding or other support from the department or university, incurring that cost yourself would be hefty. What would be a reasonable cost that is not prohibitive? I wonder if open access journals could survive off donations similar to Wikipedia. Just a thought. I’m not sure this would be enough to support the journals or it may just led to corruption through donors pressures like in politics.


The point you raised in your post is very important. I am also concerned about charges (i.e. subscription and article processing). How could we be intending to provide the public access to knowledge when authors who contribute to this process are charged to publish? Open access is not so open.


I agree, costs are absurdly high for publishing and open access is no exception to that. It is just a matter of who to push the costs on to. Is it the responsibility of the author or the university? And, as another question – is it the university that is meant to support the academic or is the academic who is to support the university? The whole idea that publishing is essentially a big business is definitely not sustainable in the long run, but to me it seems like there isn’t a great solution yet.

Zachary Gould

Absolute power corrupts absolutely. The big 5 publishers controlling such a large stake of the business and making such large profit margins means to me that corruption is inevitable. Especially if it means they can keep themselves powerful. The high costs of publishing in the digital age are constructed. Anyone can start a blog like this and curate it thoughtfully with academic research papers without having to worry about the start up costs of a printing press and the investment in paper and ink. The internet should democratize learning, but it has become centralized under layers of powerful interest.

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