Scientific Publishing Can’t Be Free | Science | Smithsonian… Was it ever?

I guess it’s my old cynical disposition kicking in, but part of my assessment is based on information from various sources- undergrads, profs, admin and business folks. Academia, like private enterprise business has lost its way because of money. Any scholarly virtue that may have existed is currently corrupted by the profit motive or at best fiscal restraint ethos. Our public institutions are struggling because our culture currently thinks academia is folly and a liability not a social virtue. The result of this evolution, started in the Reagan 80’s is that public service and even all public institutions are a petty cost or burden. The consequence is that academic institutions, regardless of the scholarly pursuit of many wise and dedicated educators are only rewarded by ‘research’ and their publishing material for the profit not their teaching gifts.

The ‘journal’ has become a commodity not a device for academic openness and thinking. I’m just a high school teacher, albeit a critical thinker and reader, so my assessment can be ripped based on my credentials; however, I have witnessed the dependency universities have become accustomed on corporate subsidy. This has led them to become less about scholarship and more about economic enterprise. The academic journal, like academic textbooks has increasingly become a revenue stream not a sharing media. Academic boards have reacted to the political and financial realities of declining public funding by accessing alternative funding sources for survival. Tuition hikes, however large cannot address the 21stC reality.

Scientific publishing is no longer free, either fiscally or in theory. Maybe journals were never truly neutral and objective but now it seems they are corrupted. Professors are pressured to be authors not simply educators.

On Aug 29, 2014, at 5:42


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