Friday, September 23, 2005

economist: scientific publishing escapes from clutches of monopoly publishers

sep 23

this is good news. the publishing of scientific papers has been cartelized so that unless you are from the atlanticist princeton/harvard/yale/mit or stanford/berkeley/caltech circles you couldnt get your stuff printed in a refereed journal. a clear old boy network dominated by white males.

maybe this liberalization will help others get their research ideas published. one more instance of disintermediation and supply chain shortening by the internet, a truly disruptive technology.

i am also pleased because i have been getting more and more concerned about the stultifying effect of the current IPR regimen including patents that the west is trying to force down the throats of the rest of the world. the loss of control over scientific publishing is a good first baby step: eventually this may erode the IPR paradigm as well.

another piece of good news recently: the arch-atlanticist ny times is hurting. they are laying off some 10% of their staff as ad revenues are drying up (thank you, google, for sucking up ad revenue onto the net). similarly, the nyt made a disastrous decision to start charging people to read kristof, friedman, dowd, et al, ie. their top columnists. this simply means people online will stop reading kristof, friedman, dowd, et al -- it doesn't mean the nyt will suddenly get lots of online subscriptions. in other words, kristof, friedman, dowd, et al lose their audience.

this is all excellent news: the increasing power of the web and blogs as news and opinion-disseminators.

now if only the people reading my blog would go click on the google adsense ads so that i get some cash out of it as well for my pains! not enough do. sigh :-( i guess i have to wait for you all to buy my books if and when they get published.


Anonymous said...

Good idea! Why don't you write a book? I'd surely buy it. I read your blog daily. Keep up the good work.

pennathur said...


The Economist isn't talking about the peer review system - but about the scientific publishing business. Top publishers like Elsevier and others charge authors or their institutions to publish their content and then charge the institutions once again to let them read their own papers. The system of peer review is of course one of the pillars of the edifice of science today. It ensures that findings are checked and rechecked many times even after publication. Only quacks like creationists dislike peer review which is why they don't publish (also because they are incapable)