Study Finds Nearly All Scientific Papers Controlled By Six Corporations
By John Vibes for True Activist
People spend half of their lives taking classes, passing tests and filling out applications in hopes that one day they can become a scientist and cure a disease. After years of struggling to make the cut they realize that there is no funding for their charitable projects and if they dare step outside of the established guidelines they will be exiled from the scientific community.
Additionally, even when legitimate studies are done, they hardly ever reach the public or get taken seriously because most of the publishers that are considered “reputable” are controlled by just a few corporations that heavily censor the information that gets released.
A recent study conducted by Professor Vincent Lariviere from the University of Montreal’s School of Library and Information Science, and a number of other researchers, found that nearly all major scientific papers are controlled by the same six corporations.
“Overall, the major publishers control more than half of the market of scientific papers both in the natural and medical sciences and in the social sciences and humanities. Furthermore, these large commercial publishers have huge sales, with profit margins of nearly 40%. While it is true that publishers have historically played a vital role in the dissemination of scientific knowledge in the print era, it is questionable whether they are still necessary in today’s digital era,” Lariviere said.
The researchers sifted through tons of studies that were published between the years of 1973 and 2013 and found that the studies were overwhelmingly published by the same six publishers. The publishers named in the study are ACS, Reed Elsevier, Sage, Taylor & Francis, Springer, and Wiley Blackwell.
Lariviere explained how this can create problems, saying that “As long as publishing in high impact factor journals is a requirement for researchers to obtain positions, research funding, and recognition from peers, the major commercial publishers will maintain their hold on the academic publishing system.”
“One would expect that a major publisher acquiring a journal would have the effect of increasing the latter’s visibility. However, our study shows that there is no clear increase in terms of citations after switching from a small to large publisher. Our findings question the real added value of big publishers. Ultimately, the question is whether the services provided to the scientific community by these publishers warrant the growing share of university budgets allocated to them,” Lariviere added.
John Vibes writes for True Activist and is an author, researcher and investigative journalist who takes a special interest in the counter culture and the drug war.