How many times have you hit an academic paywall? You're curious about a study, but you'd have to pay an outrageous fee to read it.
Academic publishers profit at the expense of scholars, universities, the public, and the advancement of knowledge.
Individuals who want to use JSTOR must shell out an average of $19 per article. The academics who write the articles are not paid for their work, nor are the academics who review it. The only people who profit are the 211 employees of JSTOR.
Academic publishing is structured on exclusivity. Originally, this exclusivity had to do with competition within journals.
Today, it all but ensures that your writing will go unread.
Discussions of open access publishing have centered on whether research should be made free to the public. But this question sets up a false dichotomy between "the public" and "the scholar". Many people fall into a grey zone, the boundaries of which are determined by institutional affiliation and personal wealth. This category includes independent scholars, journalists, public officials, writers, scientists and others who are experts in their fields yet are unwilling or unable to pay for academic work.
When do scholars become part of "the public"? One answer may be when they cannot afford to access their own work.
Universities that want to use JSTOR are charged as much as $50,000 in annual subscription fees.
JSTOR ... makes only 0.35 per cent of its profits from individual article sales. The high price is designed to maintain the barrier between academia and the outside world. Paywalls codify and commodify tacit elitism.
This denial of resources is a loss to those who value scholarly inquiry.
In the United States, granting agencies like the National Science Foundation have come under attack by politicians who believe they fund projects irrelevant to public life.
The academic publishing industry seems poised to collapse before it changes. [I changed the order of some sentences.]