If you’re in a job where you frequently publish, please stick to open access journals. Let’s advance the human race. Just for fun.
It’s depressing to think of all the middlemen monopolies in our society that skim off portions of our economy.
I think companies doing all the work around publishing and making sure the journals are done in good order are necessary and important. Sci-Hub, as much as it has been useful, is also unfiltered, and without a decent perer-review system or proofing articles is basically producing too much noise.
But Elsevier has a chokehold on the entire world’s research community and I believe that their approach is also ripe for “disrupting”. Let’s hope viable alternatives show up soon, and more importantly, win.
For me, I don’t think the issue is whether these orgs are necessary or important. It’s whether the costs they impose are ethical and commensurate to the value they add.
Due to their gatekeeper position, they have a lot of costs that they push into their users, and society. They have little incentive to reduce costs, actually they make more profit by increasing costs. So over time their cost/value ratio for higher and higher.
Yeah, zladuric’s comment is technically correct, but the scientific publishing industry is so parasitic and ethically corrupt that I don’t have the nerves to read any sentence that vaguely implies something positive about them.
Do they add some tiny value? Possibly… Would it be better for humanity if a few meteors struck them and they disappeared instantly? Definitely.
Most of reviewing and proofing is not done by the publishers but the scientists themselves. There are articles from 20 years ago basically saying that open access journals are relatively easy to support and self-sustain.
Here a letter from when JMLR formed, now the top journal in machine learning. http://www.jmlr.org/statement.html