[Marxism] Fwd: Academic Journals: The Most Profitable Obsolete Technology in History | Jason Schmitt

Louis Proyect lnp3 at panix.com
Thu Dec 25 16:53:09 MST 2014

Academic publisher Elsevier, which owns a majority of the prestigious 
academic journals, has higher operating profits than Apple. In 2013, 
Elsevier posted 39 percent profits, according to Heather Morrison, 
assistant professor at the University of Ottawa's School of Information 
Studies in contrast to the 37 percent profit that Apple displayed.

This lucrative nature of academic publishing comes at a price--and that 
weight falls on the shoulders of the full higher education community 
which is already bearing the burden of significantly decreasing academic 
budgets. "A large research university will pay between $3-3.5 million a 
year in academic subscription fees --the majority of which goes to 
for-profit academic publishers," says Sam Gershman, a postdoctoral 
fellow at MIT who assumes his post as an assistant professor at Harvard 
next year. In contrast to the exorbitant prices for access, the majority 
of academic journals are produced, reviewed, and edited on a volunteer 
basis by academics who take part in the tasks for tenure and promotion.


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