Open Access: the movie

There is a documentary about for-profit journal publishing, and no, it is not pay-for-view. US journalist and academic Jason Schmitt has made PayWall: the business of scholarship, which makes the case against the pay-to-publish/pay-to-read publishers. A few supporters of the existing model get a go, but this is advocacy reporting.

There is nothing in PayWall that supporters of Open Access don’t know but it makes a strong case for the principal of OA and it will likely surprise people who have no idea how big are the bucks made by the for-profit publishers.

The commercial journal companies run a three-segment strategy against the OA argument. They protect their business model by making access to it ever-more indispensable, with new analytic and research tools, they make limited concessions to expanding access and they ignore OA as much as they can. The first two might work, that there is now an hour-long doco about the industry on the internet indicates the third is failing.


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