Collision Course — Why Are Funders Straying from Their Lane?

Kent Anderson, The Scholarly Kitchen, Mar 13, 2017
Commentary by Stephen Downes

The pro-publisher website The Scholarly Kitchen is noting with alarm the shift in funding away from publishers and toward initiatives that compete with publishers. "What has led to this lane-changing behavior from funders and philanthropies with regard to researchers, technology, and publishers?" asks Kent Anderson. "Why are they moving into the publishing world with competitive attitudes? Why are they seeking to define publication choices for their funded researchers?" The responses range from antagonism to opportunism, he writes, with a dose of short-sightedness: "funders may not realize that there may be one or two Jenga blocks that, if pulled out, could bring major functions of the industry down in a tumble." Actually, I think they do realize this, which is why they're scouting for a replacement.

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