The Cost of Knowledge
My Flickr stream is getting a lot of hits these days. As an online petition grows by the thousands per day, I’m getting a few hundred visits DAILY to my recent visualization of Timothy Gower’s blog post and The Chronicle of Higher Ed article, Elsevier Publishing Boycott Gathers Steam Among Academics.
It all came to me via a tweet from @clintlalonde and really energized me to see academic researchers get coordinated.
I’m particularly fond of my new version of Elsevier’s logo, where I wonder what happens when the vines and grapes growing around the tree of knowledge turn into chains and locks.
Of course, this entire issue was brought into sharper focus for me by Brian Lamb months ago during his conference presentation, Toward Open Sustainability at Open Ed 2011 and his subsequent post, Higher Education and the Private Good. As Brian points out, those of us privileged enough to work at universities are able to gain access to most research but what about every one else? If the research is publicly funded, then the public should be able to access it just like we do. Timothy Gower wonders about developing nations, what do they do when they cannot afford access to information? It’s just not right.
While I am skeptical this will change much, it still brings me a bit of optimism to see over 3,000 researchers make the pledge. At the very least, as a stat junkie, I’m enjoying watching my Flickr hits increase daily.
UPDATE: I am pleased that @FakeElsevier is using my new subverted Elsevier logo. Follow the account for some comedic relief and a few quite poignant arguments.
Who is @FakeElsevier?
“I AM FAKEELSEVIER!” please read+RT: bit.ly/xPDjrg
— Fake Elsevier (@FakeElsevier) February 21, 2012
WE ARE @FakeElsevier
— Giulia Forsythe (@giuliaforsythe) February 21, 2012
MORE UPDATES: Also pleased that TheCostofKnowledge has a blog showing the visual graphic. And the petition has over
7,000 7,500 signatories.
Feb 29 UPDATE: British Medical Journal & Dutch newspaper NRC Handelsblad will both being using the @FakeElsevier logo in upcoming articles about the boycott and Open Access.