Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Open access is profitable too!

We've explored the recalcitrant attachment to capitalism of supposed 2nd-tier change agents, like here. And that real developmental progress is being made with a movement of which open access is a part, like here and here. With this in mind I like to direct you to Levi Bryant's blog post of the topic with a few snips below. This is an example of the kind of real leading edge socio-economic model transitioning away from capitalism, whereas those that cling to their intellectual property for a profit are miles behind this developmental advance. And if sales above are indicative, they'd actually make more money by giving it away!

 "The arguments for open access publishing are obvious: open access books are ecologically friendly, reducing damage to trees and damage produced by carbon emissions due to shipping, they significantly reduce the cost of publishing, and they allow ideas to circulate freely, rather than be locked away in journals that are difficult for many to access either because they are extremely expensive or have small print runs. Opposition to open access publishing indicates both a lack of ecological awareness as well as an economic classism that approves those with little means (often graduate students, but also people outside the academy) being denied access to thought. In other words, the expensive price of print journals and articles is a material mechanism that re-produces certain class and social relations in knowledge production (those that have the means or a good library available get to participate, those that don’t don’t).

"From a sales angle, however, I’ve been surprised to discover that open access publishing actually seems to increase sales. The Speculative Turn has been a wild success. It crashed Re.Press’s server the night it was released, and has hovered around the 40-60 thousand sales rank on Amazon consistently since it was released a year ago. This is extraordinary for an academic text, especially given that anyone can access it for free. Graham’s Prince of Networks has done similarly well. It’s difficult to yet say how The Democracy of Objects will do in print form, but so far the internet traffic has been very promising."

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