Academic publishers publish and sell academic research online – a relatively small task compared to the countless hours spent by researchers producing that research. Researchers generally pay and sign away their intellectual property (IP) rights for this to happen, whilst publishers earn as much as $10 billion annually off their collective work. This comes at profit margins of up to 40% – unheard of for most industries – because their content and editorial work is provided free of charge by the scientific community itself.
Academics, funders and universities are therefore involved in a system that sees billions generated from their work, all of which enters corporate pockets, and none of which is re-invested back into science. This is a huge problem because research underpins the technological innovations that will solve the world’s most important issues, and a wealthier research industry would accelerate innovation and attract talent to the industry.
Furthermore, fundamental knowledge is locked behind paywalls, such that only wealthy institutions can afford the exorbitant journal subscription fees demanded by publishers. This means people from poorer institutions and developing countries cannot access knowledge, diluting their potential to learn and contribute to innovation.
Expensive paywalls not only waste university funds, they also slow down future scientific discovery and put up barriers for interested members of the public, politicians and policy advocates who need access to primary research in order to exercise their democratic rights.
- Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation - $3.9 billion
- National Health & Medical Research Council - $590 million
- Australian Research Council - $610 million
- Research Councils UK - $3 billion
- The Wellcome Trust - $1.2 billion
Total: $9.3 billion
What We Do
MTAM strives to increase open access, return profits back to research,
and revolutionize scholarly communication at its core.
We unite and coordinate our supporters to:
By 2018 we aim
We envision a world where…