It was really nice to see George Monbiot’s article on academic publishers in The Guardian today. I hope lots of people read it and it generates the debate that it drastically needs.
Without current knowledge, we cannot make coherent democratic decisions. But the publishers have slapped a padlock and a “keep out” sign on the gates.
Monbiot is mainly talking about universities and libraries I think, but it’s worth saying that there is an additional pay wall – of sorts – to the general public. That is the fact that academic language makes most of the scientific research the public funds incomprehensible to it.
It’s interesting to have an issue that so many scientists have been talking about for so long get a decent airing. Now Monbiot is suggesting on Twitter that his next move might be to refer the matter to the competition commission.