A Library Sciences Masters student, recently sent us a Slideshare presentation titled, “What’s Wrong With Scholarly Publishing Today?” by Bjorn Brembs . It provided a ton of illuminating data on problems that scientists see with academic publishing. Of course, these problems just aren’t limited to science, but exist in all facets of academia .

Academics work. Publishers reap the benefits.

According to the presentation (which provides citations), the big three publishers generate the following net income:

  • Thomson Reuters : $1 billion

  • Reed Elsevier : $0.6 billion

  • Wolters Kluwer (Includes Springer) : $0.5 billion

It’s a wonder that these publishers generate this amount of income when the actual research is carried out by scholars. This is what happens when scholars outsource communication to publishing houses.

See below for the 10 most expensive journal subscriptions (in Euros). That’s right, Biochimica et Biophysica Acta costs a university library ~19,000 Euros a year .

Academic Journal Subscriptions are Expensive

Additionally, journal prices have had a 400% change on average between 1986 and 2008:

400% Change in Cost

Peer-Review, & Reputation

Another problem that the presentation author briefly touched on, is the problem of reputation systems to reward academics for their hard work and a better system for peer review.

A Great Presentation

Very informative. You should definitely check it out .