Scientists for Socialized Publishing

The State of Scientific Publishing in Canada

· Scientists are publically-funded yet most scientific publishers are for-profit. None are democratic.

· Scientists are exploited into providing peer-review without any financial remuneration.

· Copy-editing and formatting is outsourced to the Global South, where workers are paid less than $1 an hour.

· Scientists pay scientific publishers and often are forced to give up their copyright.

· Most scientific journals are closed-access, and scientific articles are hidden behind paywalls.

· Canadian research libraries are forced to spend $80 million CAD a year in subscription costs to scientific publishers.

· The biggest scientific publisher, Elsevier, publishes 16% of scientific literature, and boasts annual profits of over $10 billion CAD with profits margins of 36%.

· Canadian scientists spend $500 million CAD a year in publication fees.

Why do Scientists Put up with This?

· Consolidation of scientific publishing has resulted in a veritable oligopoly.

· Scientific publishers have waged a disinformation campaign that has equated for-profit, closed-access publishing with prestige and ‘trustworthy science’

· Open-access journals, like the Public Library of Science, have been attacked for publishing ‘bad science’

· Cuts to scientific funding and a lack of academic jobs have forced trainees to publish with costly, exploitive journals that are the benchmark of ‘good science’

What are the Current Battles being Waged?

· 18 European funding agencies and 2 charitable organizations have formed cOAlition S to support Plan S; a proposal to make full open-access scientific publishing a reality.

· Reed Elsevier (parent company of Elsevier) lobbies the American government to the tune of $2 million USD a year to prevent mandatory open-access publishing.

· Neither Canada or the US have endorsed Plan S.

· Although we support the reformist cOAlition S, we also recognize that in the absence of democratic scientific publishing, transnational and for-profit scientific publishers will continue exploit scientist and non-scientist labourers.

What are the Benefits of a Nationalized Scientific Publishing in Canada

· Nationalizing scientific publishing would create thousands of jobs for skilled scientist and non-scientist labourers in Canada.

· Democratization of scientific publishing would create uniform standards for science and minimize both bias and sensationalism.

· Nationalization would eliminate closed-access publishing and increase communication with the public, the primary funder and benefactor of scientific research.