“Prices to access studies from peer-reviewed journals paid by universities — which are heavily subsidized by taxpayers — have risen more than 400 per cent over the past two decades, according to a study citing Statistics Canada data published in 2021. That’s the latest national information tracking cost increases over time, four specialists said.
Those rising costs have implications far beyond the ivory tower. Academic studies are a lifeblood of knowledge creation: from improved cancer treatments to debates about foreign policy or charting the advances of artificial intelligence, new information enters the public domain through peer-reviewed research….
The typical Canadian university library spends about 75 per cent of its acquisitions budget for new material on journal subscriptions, said Susan Haigh, executive director of the Canadian Association of Research Libraries (CARL), an umbrella group representing this country’s largest university libraries….
Van Raay and his colleague, Prof. Andreas Heyland, are part of a growing trend of researchers trying to wrest control over information from the big publishing firms.
Their project, Peer Premier, is the first-ever professional peer review service intended to be independent of any journal or publisher, according to the University of Guelph….
To use the service, an author pays $1,100 to the organization, in contrast to more than $10,000 to publish in some top journals, Heyland said.
Of that money, $300 goes to each of the article’s three independent reviewers and the remaining $200 is used for project administration. Researchers who submit get fulsome comments from the reviewers and leave with an edited, peer-reviewed manuscript that can be submitted elseware for publication, he added….”