Sunday, February 12, 2012

RWA, the mutant cousin of SOPA

But there is another threat also making its way through the US Congress — less publicised but also hugely important.

That threat is the Research Works Act (RWA), by which scholarly publishers like Elsevier (with its 36% profits as a proportion of revenue) hope to claw back total ownership of federally funded research. The way academic research works is an absolute scandal to start with, but the behaviour of publishers now — charging both authors and readers, and trying to get laws passed supporting their outdated and corrupt business model — is absolutely disgraceful.

The government pays a zillion for the research, and then the journal that charges the government to publishes it wants to make it illegal not to charge other people to read it. Sounds legit.

Also worth reading is the article "Academic publishers have become the enemies of science" that is linked to by ReProg.

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