Elsevier are not evil

March 26, 2012

My new piece is now up the LSE Impact Blog — in which I recognise that it’s a mistake to think of Elsevier and other for-profit barrier-based publishers as evil.  The money quote:

Talk of such publishers being “evil” is really misplaced. They do what they do. It would be more accurate to call them “blind” or “unthinking”. When they fight tooth and nail to prevent open access, they are no more being evil than a shark is when it attacks its prey; no more evil than a brick wall across a motorway.

For the rest, read the article: Visibility is currency in academia but it is scarcity in publishing. The push for open access shows that academic publishers can’t serve two masters.

By the way, if you read it, do leave a comment; and if you like it, pass the link to your colleagues.  It’s great to get discussion going on these pieces, bringing the issues to a new audience each time.  (I realise that for SV-POW! readers, the core issues are now well rehearsed; but we need to remember that even now only a very small proportion of academics recognise the importance of open access.)


5 Responses to “Elsevier are not evil”

  1. tmkeesey Says:

    “And what haunts me, is that in all the faces of all the [publishers], I discover no kinship, no understanding, no mercy. I see only the overwhelming indifference of nature. To me, there is no such thing as a secret world of the [publishers]. And this blank stare speaks only of a half-bored interest in food.” –Werner Herzog (slighlty modified)

  2. […] Lancet owned by Evilsevier, sorry I mean Elsevier, recently  published a paper on “the case for open data” [2] […]

  3. […] new article is up at the Guardian. This time, I have taken off the Conciliatory Hat, and I’m saying it how I honestly believe it is: publishing your science behind a paywall is […]

  4. […] it, folks. Elsevier have taken the gloves off. I’ve tried repeatedly to think the best of them, to interpret their actions in the most charitable light. I even wrote a four-part series on how […]

  5. […] once more, folks: there’s no need for us to be hostile to Elsevier et al. Just walk away. Do not deal with them. They are not on your side. They never have been, and they […]

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