Authors : Robert T. Thibault, Amanda MacPherson, Stevan Harnad, Amir Raz
The main contributors of scientific knowledge, researchers, generally aim to disseminate their findings far and wide. And yet, publishing companies have largely kept these findings behind a paywall.
With digital publication technology markedly reducing cost, this enduring wall seems disproportionate and unjustified; moreover, it has sparked a topical exchange concerning how to modernize academic publishing.
This discussion, however, seems to focus on how to compensate major publishers for providing open access through a “pay to publish” model, in turn transferring financial burdens from libraries to authors and their funders.
Large publishing companies, including Elsevier, Springer Nature, Wiley, PLoS, and Frontiers, continue to earn exorbitant revenues each year, hundreds of millions of dollars of which now come from processing charges for open-access articles.
A less expensive and equally accessible alternative exists: widespread self-archiving of peer-reviewed articles. All we need is awareness of this alternative and the will to employ it.