Scholarly journal publishers strong arm universities? You don't say, CBC!

I have written about the monopoly problem of academic journals before right here that has been reblogged on Tumblr many times.

But the CBC, always late to get the memo, are just shocked that academic publishers charge exorbitant fees for universities to access their articles — all while people who submit them do it for free.

As if regular media outlets and publishers don’t play the same games.

For example, there are databases with my old articles. I never see a penny if someone bought them.

As a general rule, content providers are not respected, even though without them, there would be nothing to sell.

The problem is structural. For example, in order for me to provide good, quality content, I have to research, interview, and write, meaning that my focus, time, and resources cannot be spent on doing other things, from promotion to lobbying and negotiating.

In academia, it is no different.

We haven’t figured out how to create a system that is not rigged against content providers, but it is time we do…

We talk about a media monopoly, but what about a scholarly journal monopoly?

When I wrote an academic article for the scholarly journal Critical Review, it was an independent journal with an excellent reputation for being daring, and the reason I sought it out. It was young, brash, exciting, and I had direct dealings with the editor.

When my article was published, it was quoted and used in various scholarly books and journal articles.

Critical Review is no longer an independent publication. In fact, you would be hard pressed to find any these days. Most are owned by a handful of owners. The American Psychological Association, owns most of the major psych journals, which is not surprising on the one hand, but very troubling on another.

This is the way of stifling debate and homogenizing academic thought, and that's not what academia is supposed to do. Diversity of voices in quality publications is lost -- and no new styles and structures of thought are permitted.

It is not as if there is a shortage of publications or open source venues. The problem is we aren't seeing certain innovations in intellectual thought as we go through the motions and write-by-numbers. Experiments don't break away from tradition. Theories don't break away from it, either.

They have become stagnate, and filled with design flaws and sophistry.

I still read academic articles, but the notion of iconic or classic experimentation is no longer there. They seem to lack a certain gravitas, and now try to pass off ideological opinion as fact.

It is as if the Fox Effect is creeping over to the academic sphere where the allure of filler opinion is winning over the search for facts.

And that is something to be aware of, and start challenging...