2018/sep/13: Never underestimate the power of one determined person. What Carole Cadwalladr has done to Facebook and big data, and Edward Snowden has done to the state security complex, the young Kazakhstani scientist Alexandra Elbakyan has done with Sci-Hub to the multibillion-dollar industry that traps knowledge behind paywalls.
Last week, a consortium of European funders, including major research agencies in the UK, France, the Netherlands and Italy, published their “Plan S”. It insists that, from 2020, research we have already paid for through our taxes will no longer be locked up. Any researcher receiving money from these funders must publish her or his work only in open-access journals.
The publishers have gone ballistic. Springer Nature argues that this plan potentially undermines the whole research publishing system. Yes, that’s the point.