Saturday, January 7, 2012

Free labor by academics so that commercial publishers can make a profit

This allegory is from "Time for academics to withdraw free labor", on Dorothy Bishop's BishopBlog:

Jack is a sheep farmer. He gets some government subsidies, and also works long hours to keep his sheep happy and healthy. When his beasts are ready for slaughter, he offers them to an abattoir. The abattoir is very choosy and may reject Jack’s sheep, which is a disaster for him, as there is no other route to the market. If he is lucky the abattoir will accept the animals, slaughter them and sell them, at a large profit, to the supermarket. Jack does not see any of this money. The populace struggle to afford the price of meat, but the government has no control over this. When Jack feels like a nice piece of lamb, he buys it from the supermarket. Meanwhile, Jack provides his services for free as an inspector of other farmers’ animals.
Crazy story, right? But that’s the model that academic publishing follows..........

See BishopBlog for more. Dorothy Bishop wants authors and reviewers to boycott Elsevier journals.

Her blog has a number of fascinating and humorous posts, including:

How to become a celebrity science expert (sarcastic)

Science Journal Editors: A Taxonomy

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