Publishers Remove 2500 Journals From Free Access In Bangladesh; Put Them Back When People Notice

from the gotta-pay-to-do-research dept

We’ve discussed in the past some of the more ethically dubious moves by the big academic journal publishers, and the more you look, the worse it seems to get. Glyn Moody has the story about how a bunch of publishers all agreed to remove free access to thousands of journals in Bangladesh. Apparently they had previously allowed such free access, noting that Bangladesh was a developing nation, but now they claim they’ve seen enough sales to pull the plug on the free access. Among the journals removed:


From 4 January Elsevier Journals withdrew access in Bangladesh to 1610 of its publications, including the Lancet stable of journals, which had been available through the World Health Organization?s Health Inter-Network for Access to Research Initiative (HINARI) programme. HINARI was set up in 2002 to enable not for profit institutions in developing countries to gain access online to more than 7000 biomedical and health titles either free or at very low cost.

Springer has withdrawn 588 of its journals from the programme in Bangladesh and Lippincott Williams and Wilkins 299 journals. The American Association for the Advancement of Science and the American Society for Animal Science have withdrawn access to, respectively, two and three of their journals.

And this resulted in the bizarre situation in which some researchers in the country no longer had access to their own research:


Tracey Koehlmoos, head of the health and family planning systems programme at the International Centre for Diarrhoeal Disease Research in Dhaka, said, “We are a little less than 300 scientists eking out world class research on a shoestring budget without the purchasing power capacity of a big university in the West. HINARI has been our lifeline. My colleagues publish in many of these journals, and now we won?t even have access to our own papers.”

Access to knowledge is important for creating new knowledge. Blocking off such access to these scientists and researchers is a really unfortunate move.

Thankfully, as I was finishing up writing this piece, I saw the news that, given the outcry of protests about this, the publishers backed down (pdf). However, it seems troubling that it should take a public outcry for these publishers to realize this was a bad idea.

Filed Under: , , ,
Companies: elsevier

Rate this comment as insightful
Rate this comment as funny
You have rated this comment as insightful
You have rated this comment as funny
Flag this comment as abusive/trolling/spam
You have flagged this comment
The first word has already been claimed
The last word has already been claimed
Insightful Lightbulb icon Funny Laughing icon Abusive/trolling/spam Flag icon Insightful badge Lightbulb icon Funny badge Laughing icon Comments icon

Comments on “Publishers Remove 2500 Journals From Free Access In Bangladesh; Put Them Back When People Notice”

Subscribe: RSS Leave a comment
9 Comments
Frosty840says:

Difficult...

The service that scientific journals provide (peer review) is already divorced from the service they charge for (peer-reviewed publishing).

Essentially, people buy the journals in order to support the peer-review process.

Given that publication of these journals is already an expression of the CwF+RtB model, I’m kind of disappointed by what has happened, here. If people want the journals to be there for them to publish in, and to provide them with a forum in which to publish, surely they should be willing to pay into the upkeep and maintenance of those journals?

bwpsays:

Re: Re: Difficult...

I don’t think that people buy the journals in order to support the peer-review process.

Moreover, people aren’t buying these journals. Universities and research institutions are, but, as was pointed out in the article, some places that are doing great research on their own can’t afford the prices that the publishing companies want to charge.

Finally, how in the world do you get that these journals are “already an express of the CwF+RtB model?” Journals are, for the most part, a way to ensure tenure more than a way to disseminate information. Peer-reviewed journals are a joke.

Alex Danielssays:

Re: Re: Difficult...

Basically the scientists at universities do the research. The scientists at universities do the peer review. Then the publishers sell the books to the universities.

Is it me or the publishers could be taken out of the equation completely? The money spent by universities on buying the journals could pay for the peer review, pay for the online hosting of all the publications (to give free access to other universities) and to fund more research!

whateversays:

“… some researchers in the country no longer had access to their own research…”

Erm… researchers don’t have access to their own research anywhere in the world unless they or their institution subscribe to the journal (unless it’s an open source one, of course).

The researchers at my institution have their research published by the likes of Elsevier and LWW etc, and the library has to subscribe to those journals so that they can read their own papers.

Add Your Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Have a Techdirt Account? Sign in now. Want one? Register here

Comment Options:

Make this the or (get credits or sign in to see balance) what's this?

What's this?

Techdirt community members with Techdirt Credits can spotlight a comment as either the "First Word" or "Last Word" on a particular comment thread. Credits can be purchased at the Techdirt Insider Shop »

Follow Techdirt

Techdirt Daily Newsletter

Techdirt Deals
Report this ad??|??Hide Techdirt ads
Techdirt Insider Discord
The latest chatter on the Techdirt Insider Discord channel...
Loading...
Older Stuff
12:25 Australian Privacy Commissioner Says 7-Eleven Broke Privacy Laws By Scanning Customers' Faces At Survey Kiosks (6)
10:50 Missouri Governor Doubles Down On 'View Source' Hacking Claim; PAC Now Fundraising Over This Bizarrely Stupid Claim (45)
10:45 Daily Deal: The All-in-One Microsoft, Cybersecurity, And Python Exam Prep Training Bundle (0)
09:43 Want To Understand Why U.S. Broadband Sucks? Look At Frontier Communications In Wisconsin, West Virginia (8)
05:36 Massachusetts College Decides Criticizing The Chinese Government Is Hate Speech, Suspends Conservative Student Group (71)
19:57 Le Tigre Sues Barry Mann To Stop Copyright Threats Over Song, Lights Barry Mann On Fire As Well (21)
16:07 Court Says City Of Baltimore's 'Heckler's Veto' Of An Anti-Catholic Rally Violates The First Amendment (15)
13:37 Two Years Later, Judge Finally Realizes That A CDN Provider Is Not Liable For Copyright Infringement On Websites (21)
12:19 Chicago Court Gets Its Prior Restraint On, Tells Police Union Head To STFU About City's Vaccine Mandate (158)
10:55 Verizon 'Visible' Wireless Accounts Hacked, Exploited To Buy New iPhones (8)
10:50 Daily Deal: The MacOS 11 Course (0)
07:55 Suing Social Media Sites Over Acts Of Terrorism Continues To Be A Losing Bet, As 11th Circuit Dumps Another Flawed Lawsuit (11)
02:51 Trump Announces His Own Social Network, 'Truth Social,' Which Says It Can Kick Off Users For Any Reason (And Already Is) (100)
19:51 Facebook AI Moderation Continues To Suck Because Moderation At Scale Is Impossible (26)
16:12 Content Moderation Case Studies: Snapchat Disables GIPHY Integration After Racist 'Sticker' Is Discovered (2018) (11)
13:54 Arlo Makes Live Customer Service A Luxury Option (8)
12:05 Delta Proudly Announces Its Participation In The DHS's Expanded Biometric Collection Program (5)
11:03 LinkedIn (Mostly) Exits China, Citing Escalating Demands For Censorship (14)
10:57 Daily Deal: The Python, Git, And YAML Bundle (0)
09:37 British Telecom Wants Netflix To Pay A Tax Simply Because Squid Game Is Popular (32)
06:41 Report: Client-Side Scanning Is An Insecure Nightmare Just Waiting To Be Exploited By Governments (35)
20:38 MLB In Talks To Offer Streaming For All Teams' Home Games In-Market Even Without A Cable Subscription (10)
15:55 Appeals Court Says Couple's Lawsuit Over Bogus Vehicle Forfeiture Can Continue (15)
13:30 Techdirt Podcast Episode 301: Scarcity, Abundance & NFTs (0)
12:03 Hollywood Is Betting On Filtering Mandates, But Working Copyright Algorithms Simply Don't Exist (66)
10:45 Introducing The Techdirt Insider Discord (4)
10:40 Daily Deal: The Dynamic 2021 DevOps Training Bundle (0)
09:29 Criminalizing Teens' Google Searches Is Just How The UK's Anti-Cybercrime Programs Roll (19)
06:29 Canon Sued For Disabling Printer Scanners When Devices Run Out Of Ink (41)
20:51 Copyright Law Discriminating Against The Blind Finally Struck Down By Court In South Africa (7)
More arrow