Princeton bans academics from handing all copyright to journal publishers


This is good news. The dominoes are beginning to fall. Pay journals are a dying breed. Yeah!

For non-academics or for those academics at huge universities with large library budgets, this might not seem important. For guys like me on faculty at a university with very little access to international journals in my field, this is a much welcomed movement..

I would easily pay $500/yr for access to these works, but that wouldn’t even get me in the door. For an average research paper, I need access to roughly 15-30 difference journals (not just different issues). This is particularly true for me as I do research that spans the fields of Education, SLA/TESOL, and technology, not to mention other tangents that some research flows into.

As stated in the article (…, this model is built on the backs of academics doing this work for free (or as part of their university roles). Publications really could offset costs with minimal advertising on their sites. In addition, as most journals are associated with professional organizations the cost of providing journal access could go back into member services and even, perhaps, cut membership costs and increase membership. (Yes, I see the potential for those who join solely for the publication to cut and run).

Some might say that the publishers offer a platform that innovates in delivery, but this is a joke compared to what other 3rd party products could do if they were competing on service rather than content.

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