In the current political climate, this academic topic felt very appropriate. It came to us from The Scholarly Kitchen in their article, “Will the Future of Scholarly Communication Be Pluralistic and Democratic, or Monocultural and Authoritarian?

The present and future of scholarly communication has never been more different. The struggle that is playing out right now within the scholarly communication ecosystem is the struggle to choose between pluralism and monoculture.  Pluralism at its base is the theory that a multitude of groups, not the people as a whole, govern. In this scenario, the scholarly communication ecosystem embraces some mixture of open access and toll access models. In the latter, the scholarly communication ecosystem embraces only open access.

Most publishers own the rights to the articles in their journals. Anyone who wants to read the articles must pay to access them. Anyone who wants to use the articles in any way must obtain permission from the publisher and is often required to pay an additional fee. Paying for access to journals makes sense in the world of print publishing, where providing articles to each reader requires the production of physical copies of articles, but in the online world, with distribution as wide as the internet’s reach, it makes much less sense.

Melody K. Smith

Sponsored by Data Harmony, a unit of Access Innovations, the world leader in indexing and making content findable.