Academic publishing is the backbone of science dissemination –– but is the current system fit for purpose? We asked a diverse group of scientists to comment on the future of publishing. They discuss systemic issues, challenges, and opportunities, and share their vision for the future.
We must dismantle access barriers
A large portion of traditional academic publishing is unequal, exclusionary, unsustainable and opaque1. Nearly 70% of scientific journal articles are locked behind paywalls2. The publishing industry has sequestered and commoditized scientific literature. It is a scandal.
This is a great article and well worth your time to read. We found ourselves grinning and nodding as we read it. It is a glimpse into the future, which is very exciting. South America deserves high praise for their embrace of diamond open access, without subscription our author of charges. This is undoubtedly the route to science that is open, accessible and free to all.
Latin America is taking on a pioneering role in this. In Latin America, scientific outputs are considered a public good. Free-to-publish and free-to-read cooperative publishing is supported by non-commercial and publicly funded infrastructure. Ninety-five per cent of Latin American journals are diamond open access: community-driven and collaborative platforms with no article processing charges. Their example shows us that research is a more global and diverse enterprise than is typically acknowledged. By including diverse voices, they contribute substantially to the academic landscape and the accessibility and dissemination of research3. Unfortunately, these journals tend to be excluded by indexing systems, which causes science published outside of the Global North to not receive the attention that it deserves.
Academic institutions globally should support open access through not-for-profit, sustainable, collaborative, scholarly led publishing4. Social impact should be the driving force behind science, and research should be open and aligned with the UN’s sustainable development agenda5.