[Marxism] Fwd: Academic publishing and scholarly communication: a status report | Harvard Magazine Jan-Feb 2015

Louis Proyect lnp3 at panix.com
Sat Jan 31 07:30:49 MST 2015

The first scholarly journals appeared in 1665, and since then, they have 
not paid authors, peer reviewers, or editors. “All the key players have 
been giving away their work for 350 years,” says Suber. “Scholars write 
journal articles for impact, not for money. They are freed to do this 
because they have salaries from their institutions.” Yet the physical 
aspects of print technology, still cutting-edge in the seventeenth 
century, today limit scholars’ ability to circulate their ideas and 
findings. Now, Suber says, “the Internet allows them to give it away to 
the whole world.”

Some peer-reviewed research may involve a microscopically small topic 
that interests only a handful of people worldwide. “There is no market 
value in that,” Suber notes. “If academics had to focus on what might 
sell, rather than what might be true, they would find themselves writing 
more on popular subjects and less on their research specializations. 
Tenure protects you from being fired for voicing unpopular ideas. Open 
access protects you from the market. You can write what you think is 
true, even on a very small topic or on something, like evolution, that 
angers people.”


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