China might have the great firewall when it comes to blocking access, but another infamous digital wall is the great academic paywall a.k.a. subscription paywalls that block access to scientific and academic journals. That could all be changing. Researchers everywhere are shocking and gasping at the thought of have free access to expensive research materials. Could this be the sound of celebration? Nature fills us in on the details in the story, “Radical Open-Access Plan Could Spell End To Journal Subscriptions.”
The celebrating would only take place in Europe, however, as European research funders have banded together for a radical open access initiative that could revolutionize science publishing. The publishers are already angry over this. The European funders are eleven agencies that spend over $8.8 billion annually in research grants. From 2020 and onward, they want all research papers resulting from their grants to be available under a liberal publishing license. The idea is that science should not be kept behind paywalls. The endeavor is called Plan S.
Phi Beta Iota: The “management” of knowledge is criminally, pathologically, deficient. We publish 1% of what is written and what is written is roughly 1% of what is know. We have an economy — and a knowledge management system — that is 90% profit and obstacles to peace and prosperity — bankers and lawyers and toll takers.