Why I won’t try to publish as I move towards tenure — by Brad King
Excerpt (emphasis DSC):
A growing number of faculty, including myself, have begun to reject that road to tenure.
The reason: the academic publishing system is built around a 1-2 year publishing process that requires the best and brightest minds to turn over all of their intellectual property without any compensation for that work.
For years, academics had no other option. If they wanted to distribute their research, they had to go through the academic journal system. Thanks to the Internet, the Web, and the mobile Web, there are now have alternate ways to distribute their work.
The California Universities are encouraging faculty members to only publish in open-access journals, which make the dissemination of information the priority over the construction of lucrative business models.
Getting published in a prestigious scholarly journal is a big deal in academia because it’s one of the ways that universities decide who will be promoted and receive tenure.
But in this traditional publishing process, authors usually sign away exclusive first publishing rights to the journal. The journal makes its money by charging subscription fees to university libraries and others, and doesn’t allow the research to spread outside of its publication for a year or two.
The reason for this switch: faculty are tired of being held hostage by these journals that use the system of tenure as a way to hold academic hostage. Harvard University faculty have said that “major publishers had created an ‘untenable situation’ at the university by making scholarly interaction ‘fiscally unsustainable’ and ‘academically restrictive’, while drawing profits of 35% or more.”