Very very good article, and I wrote a response from a similar perspective in my own blog at, in reaction to the editor’s letter for the latest ACM Communications edition.

I would only amend this one by “svpow” with this.

Corporate profit-making (disdainfully called “greed”) has driven science and technology into new heights for centuries now with accelerating results. There are many of us who would pursue our own ideas if we had support for them, and open source software is an example of this, and a fantastic good for all of us.

I would call profit-making as “greed” when it passes the line of respecting other people’s own rights to enjoy the fruits of their labor.

The profitability model that pits publishers against the rest of us is crumbling from the onslaught of the Internet, and even from the new realization that the “gatekeepers” are actually choking out new ideas, new combinations of old ideas, and holding us back.

It worked once because academic publishers had a limited audience and needed a bottleneck. No more.

Throw it open to everybody in the world. Put the profit motive to work for us by letting anybody in on it that wants to. If it’s funded by taxes it sure should be open, but the actions of government agencies and the diversion of research funds to politically decided causes means taking your money to fund their own interests whether you like it or not. Politically selected “independent experts” are not independent at all.

For example, if you listen to government-funded peer-reviewed climate scientists, you might not even know that one of the hottest summers in decades comes timed together with one of the hottest, most active solar cycle maximum in decades.