We've failed: Pirate black open access is trumping green and gold and we must change our approach

Toby Green, Learned Publishing, Sept 19, 2017
Commentary by Stephen Downes

This is another article on Sci-Hub (beyond the one cited here) asserting essentially that illegal open access is succeeding because legal open access is failing. The author points to a recent OpenAire report (77 page PDF) identifying six roadblocks to open access what all need to be addressed: these include author and publisher incentives, transparency, pluralism, and infrastructure. The key reform needed, he argues, is unbundling. "If everyone could read all scholarly content for free, is there sufficient value in additional services to generate the revenues needed to fund both a read-only service and for those other elements of the scholarly communication process that, once unbundled, survive exposure to market forces?" The argument is that there is, if there is a larger readership, and this larger readership can come into existence only if there is access at no cost.

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