Written by Nereus Fellow Tyler Eddy,

It started when I received an email from ResearchGate communicating that scientific articles published by Elsevier – the largest academic publishing company in the world that pockets billions in profit annually – were going to be removed from my ResearchGate profile. ResearchGate is an organization that tries to make academic articles more accessible, and is being sued by Elsevier for copyright infringement. As a contract academic without a personal website and trying to land a highly coveted tenure-track position, ensuring that my research is accessible is important. This sits alongside the open access movement, which aims to make research more accessible for all – not only those who have access through expensive institutional subscriptions. Thinking about barriers to the open access movement in this light led me to look closer at the motivations of academic publishers who are ruled by profit margins, and how the open access movement may run contrary to their bottom lines. In this piece titled ‘Plan S: Motivations of for-profit publishers’ published in Science, I make the case that the academic community should not only consider whether a journal publishes open access or not, but also consider the profit motivations of the publisher when selecting a venue for their research.

Eddy TD.  2019. Plan S: Motivations of for-profit publishers. Science 363: 462. Link

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