Thursday, June 27, 2013

Academic Journals and Double Billing

So, we academics write articles and send them to journals. Other academics who are on the editorial boards may review them for review, or actually review them. Other academics also review the papers.

On the back end, academic libraries complain about the high prices that publishers charge academic libraries for those same journals.

Let's review who pays for the work of those academics in the first paragraph.

  • Time spent on research for an article, paid for by: University
  • Time spent writing an article, paid for by: University
  • Time spent doing whatever the ed board does, paid for by: University
  • Time spent reviewing articles, paid for by: University
You will note that at no point in this process does a typical journal publisher actually pay for any of the time spent working, it is all paid for by the university where the academic resides (or, perhaps a grant, which is still not the publisher).

I am probably missing a few nuances but, usually this kind of behavior is called double billing, and it is frowned upon.