Publishing the 23andMe Way

Joseph Esposito, The Scholarly Kitchen, Sept 26, 2017
Commentary by Stephen Downes

Read both parts of this article (part one, part two). The key bits are in part two, but you need part one to set up the context. The first part describes how 23andmMe has set up it's data collection website (badly, in the author's opinion: "They could have hired someone from Netflix or Facebook, but apparently the head of end-user experience comes from Verizon or United Airlines." Burn! The second part contains the zingers. It describes 23andme's long term plan as a publisher selling access to a database.

This, he argues, is quite reasonable, since they are producing the value (he does note the contradiction with other academic publishing, where the researchers who produce the value receive no part of the value). He then notes that this model is different from acdemic publishing, because price is based on that value, unlike journal articles. "Libraries, in other words, have been exploiting publishers economically for years. It’s good to have 23andme come along and stick up for the economic rights of the purveyors of content." Wow. Brazen. (Note: Beverly Hillbillies photo was uncredited on the original Scholarly Kitchen article).

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