POST: On the Likelihood of Academia “Taking Back” Scholarly Publishing

Rick Anderson of The Scholarly Kitchen outlines his thoughts on how the academy can “take back scholarly publishing.” He discusses the noncommercial entities in libraries and academic departments that have the means to disseminate works, support legislation against commercial interests in scholarly communication, and encourage mandates by funding agencies to make publications open access.Anderson refers to these options as “replicating, foregoing, and excluding,” but identifies authors and publishers themselves as “the real barrier” to the academy “taking back scholarly publishing.” He concludes that

we are unlikely to see a major shift in academic journal publishing out of the commercial sector and into the academic one anytime soon. Not because there aren’t downsides to the existing system, but because those who are freest to make meaningful decisions (authors and publishers) are the ones least likely to find fault with things as they are now and unlikely to see great value in either taking on (authors) or giving up (publishers) the roles that have accrued to them over the past few centuries.

This post was produced through a cooperation between Virginia Pannabecker, Brian Rosenblum, Caitlin Pollock and Amy Wickner (Editors-at-large for the week), Caro Pinto (Editor for the week), and Zach Coble and Roxanne Shirazi (dh+lib Review Editors).