It’s Day 1 of Open Access Week, and here’s a thought from Mike Taylor (of the Sauropod Vertebra Picture of the Week blog) to kick off the week:

If you can make money by publishing research, that’s great.

The issue is not publishers who make money. The issue is corporations that go by the title “publishers”, but which in fact make money by preventing publication.

Because “publish” means “make public”. The whole point of a publisher is to make things public. The reason the scientists of 30 years ago sent their papers to a publisher was because having a publisher print them on paper and ship them around the world was the most effective way to make them public. And subscriptions were the obvious way to pay for that work. But now that anything can be made public instantly — “Publishing is not a job any more, it’s a button”giving papers to a “publisher” that locks them behind a [paywall] is the opposite of publishing. It’s privating.

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