Web site of the movie, “Paywall: The Business of Scholarship”, to be released in September 2018.
“Abstract: The website Sci-Hub enables users to download PDF versions of scholarly articles, including many articles that are paywalled at their journal’s site. Sci-Hub has grown rapidly since its creation in 2011, but the extent of its coverage was unclear. Here we report that, as of March 2017, Sci-Hub’s database contains 68.9% of the 81.6 million scholarly articles registered with Crossref and 85.1% of articles published in toll access journals. We find that coverage varies by discipline and publisher, and that Sci-Hub preferentially covers popular, paywalled content. For toll access articles, we find that Sci-Hub provides greater coverage than the University of Pennsylvania, a major research university in the United States. Green open access to toll access articles via licit services, on the other hand, remains quite limited. Our interactive browser at https://greenelab.github.io/scihub allows users to explore these findings in more detail. For the first time, nearly all scholarly literature is available gratis to anyone with an Internet connection, suggesting the toll access business model may become unsustainable.”
“As scientists race to save coral reefs and tackle other crucial marine issues, access to expensive scientific journals has become a roadblock to sharing knowledge, especially for researchers in developing countries….
…Open Communications for The Ocean (OCTO), a Woodinville, Washington-based nonprofit that recently launched a marine science research “repository” called MarXiv. Its goal is to systematically make more marine research freely accessible….”
“Paywall Watch is a website dedicated to monitoring and documenting notable problems at academic publishers.
TL;DR we are like Retraction Watch, but we focus on incompetent errors made by academic publishers.
Unlike most multi-billion dollar industries there is virtually no regulation in the academic publishing market. Publishers can get away with seemingly anything. Poor service, poor ethics, and outrageous prices are a common feature of the market. We hope the aggregation of content on this website will empower funders, authors, readers, subscribers, research institutes and libraries to make better choices in future when it comes to entrusting scholarly research outputs with digital service providers.
Specific types of incompetence to be documented here include:
- Paywalled open access articles (whereby the original publisher should be making the article open access, but instead is observed to be charging people to use or read the article)
- CopyWrong (whereby a publisher incorrectly claims copyrights that they do not have)
- Other Significant Errors in Service Provision (e.g. losing the full text of articles, losing supplementary data, missing article content such as mathematical equations or figure images)…”
“Are you part of a non-profit organization, but don’t have access to University research and resources? This workshop will focus on ways non-University affiliated community researchers can still access excellent scholarly articles & research, so you don’t have to beg, steal, or borrow to get the evidence you need. Beyond the paywall is freedom! All Are Welcome! We’ll cover: What is Open Access, and can you trust it? Places to find high quality, legal, scholarly research – beyond Google Simple search strategies to get better results Resources for grant writing…”
“Event Date: Tuesday, November 14, 2017 at 1pm EST / 10am PST / 6pm UTC This webinar will be presented by Nick Wehner, Project Director of MarXiv and Director of Open Initiatives at OCTO. Ocean managers, policymakers, and NGOs routinely face barriers to scientific knowledge: they simply can’t afford costly subscriptions to traditional peer-reviewed academic journals. Studies have found that these financial barriers result in less primary science being used in on-the-ground environmental management plans.”
“An unprecedented study of 6 million pieces of data claims to shows that the knowledge framework underpinning UK construction is not fit for purpose.
As the industry reels from the deadly Grenfell Tower fire, the study’s authors warn that practitioners do not have ready access to critical knowledge and that more mistakes are “inevitable”.
Designing Buildings Wiki, an open knowledge base, says it has undertaken the first comprehensive mapping of construction industry knowledge.
It published what it calls the “startling results” in a report this week, which found that:
Too much essential knowledge is difficult to understand, buried in long documents or locked behind pay walls and will not be used.
Practitioners need accessible, practical, easy-to-use guidance to help them carry out everyday activities.
The industry lacks the strategic leadership needed to coordinate the creation and dissemination of knowledge.
The internet has fundamentally changed the way practitioners access knowledge, but the industry has not kept up….”
Over the last few decades, there has been ongoing debate and distress regarding the effects of the journal subscription paywall and the very real barriers to knowledge access that it creates. As major academic publishers invest and redirect their business strategies to open access and alternative paying structures, it may seem as if the access to knowledge battle is starting to be won. However, as big publishers move towards openness they have also been redirecting their business strategies towards the acquisition of scholarly infrastructure, the tools and services that underpin the scholarly research life cycle, many of which are geared towards data analytics. We argue that moves toward increased control over openness and data analytics by big publishers are simultaneous processes of profit maximization. Could it be that our attention on the paywall has ditracted us from paying attention to the strategic takeover of infrastructure by the publishers? These processes should be examined closely as they are actively entrenching the publisher’s’ power and control which could be posing great threats to the exclusion of already marginalized researchers and institutions.
Over the summer, librarians and academic leaders in Germany came together to lead a push in taking down the paywalls that block access to so many scientific research articles. The initiative, named Projekt DEAL, represents a bold push toward open access that could change the landscape of academic publishing.
The latest developments in Projekt DEAL pick up on a battle now over two years in the making, where libraries and universities in Germany have united in pushing large publishers to adopt a new business model. The institutions are looking to forego the typical subscription-based academic publishing business model in lieu of paying an annual lump sum that covers publications costs of all papers whose first authors are associated with German institutions.”