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Martin Paul Eve

Professor of Literature, Technology and Publishing at Birkbeck, University of London

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In the wake of the Finch report, the Times Higher published a story entitled "Finch's open-access cure may be 'worse than the disease'" which was a response from so-called elite universities bulking at the cost of Open Access publishing.

Considering that these are supposed to be critical institutions, why does it not cross their minds to think differently: if publishers are going to charge an amount that is infeasible, but we all agree that we need Open Access, then are there ways that publishers can be cut out of the loop?

Although I've softened my views somewhat over the last year, I do not believe that journal publishers (very distinct from, say, monograph publishers who often spend a great deal of time working with their authors) add anywhere near the value they claim, especially considering the price. The amount we spend on publishing could easily fund us the staff expertise in-house, with cash left over. We'd have open access and balanced budgets. The academy does not exist to prop up the outmoded business models of extortionate publishers.

If you're interested in this alternative, which rarely seems to get a look in, have a look at Björn Brembs' stuff. Alternatively, see my paper when it comes out, open access, next month in UKSG's journal, Serials.