Researchers give their work to toll access journals for free, then scholars review that work for free, and then the journals make nearly 40% profits selling that work. This is old news.
I was helping an author to get rights to reproduce some images from the NZ National Library, and it occurred to me:
- Why was I working to get the rights to these images? Surely that’s a job for the publisher? Do they not have a responsibility only to republish things they are confident they have rights to do so? A movie company wouldn’t expect a script writer to get the rights for music to be used in a movie. A magazine wouldn’t simply publish images it didn’t get copyright clearance for!
- Why would the Library not charge the journal for commercial use of the image, just the same way it would charge someone who wanted to sell a t-shirt with it on?
Once again, the toll based publishing system has us running around doing the work, and then profiting from it. Corporate welfare, at its finest.