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.