“Shareholder value maximisation has been severely criticised in recent years, with a growing number of prominent business leaders recognising that companies have obligations to society as well as their shareholders.
This moral responsibility is also emerging in scholarly communications. Most academic research is still published behind paywalls, but researchers and funders are increasingly looking to make data and research outputs freely and openly available for the benefit of society.
The lion’s share of academic research is publicly funded, yet revenues derived from that research are distributed disproportionately, serving shareholders rather than researchers. Academic publishers and their shareholders have benefitted from an increasing proportion of library budgets. In the past, publishers routinely sought annual increases of journal subscription fees in addition to significant revenue from open access article processing charges. This is particularly hard for the smaller institutions that want to publish open access.”