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The Cost of Knowledge
, , February 6, 2012
Commentary by Stephen Downes

Not that it's necessary, I think, but I guess people should know I'm continuing my years-long boycott :) of services like Elsevier. The boycott, as the diagram shows, covers publishing, refereeing, and editorial work. But here's the challenge I have for academics: will you also refrain from reading and citing Elsevier journals? Ah, too hard!? Total: 463
Enclosure:
[Direct Link] 57225
Comments

Re: The Cost of Knowledge

You have published in "Learning Organization" for example. Emerald Group Publishing Limited sells your paper for $25:

http://www.emeraldinsight.com/journals.htm?articleid=1512987

Emerald Group Publishing has pulled a few dirty tricks in the past like making up fake journals:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Emerald_Group_Publishing#Republication_controversy


It is unclear to me whether Emerald is better than Elsevier.

Anyhow. I think that the real problem has to do with library budgets. How come the librarians can afford to spend such crazy money on journals? Where does all this money come from?

That would be like going to the arms dealer and blaming him for all the money he makes from the Canadian military. The real question is how come the Canadian military has all this money... right?

My theory is that high journal fees is a win-win-win for all those involved. Librarians are happy because they manage large budgets (and have a corresponding amount of prestige). Publishers are happy. And many students and professors from top universities are happy because they can distinguish themselves from those at the lesser institutions (not to mention those who dare go on their own).

It is very difficult for anyone outside the academic system to compete with me because he simply does not have access to the material. I benefit from this system.

You *can* boycott. But as long as libraries have X millions of dollars to spend, the money will get spent. It is not like librarians will return the money left on the table.

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Re: The Cost of Knowledge

Yep. That was 7 years ago. Ergo, my boycott has lasted for "years".

Totally agreed with your win-win-win comment, though. The only losers are the students and the taxpayers.
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