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Kate Gardner
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As someone who works for another society publisher, this is a really tough problem. No publisher is making wads of money, I assure you. Publishing/journalism is one of the lowest paid areas that requires degree-level education and most of my colleagues have a minimum of a PhD in their specialism. There are two journal publishing models: either we pay authors for their content and then charge people to read that content, or authors pay us to publish their content and we make it freely available. Either way, we have overheads including editors, peer review and production costs. Even big-name journals like Science and Nature carry relatively little advertising, compared with most magazines, and with magazines closing left and right due to falling ad revenue... Also, most stories in Science and Nature get picked up by dozens of news outlets elsewhere, so the information does get out. This story, for instance, can be found here - http://physicsworld.com/cws/article/news/44756 - in addition to all the other links posted. And, as other commenters mention, most universities and libraries subscribe to all the big journals so members of the public can, for the most part, access the original papers if they want to.
Toggle Commented Feb 27, 2011 on paywalls are stupid, part infinity at WWdN: In Exile
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Feb 27, 2011