Notify of

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Oldest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Phillip Lord

Fantastic post. We need more like this. I mean, seriously, most of the time the open access debate is rather straight-faced, about enabling better access to knowledge for all, and helping to reduce the enormous costs of publication, enabling better science and curing cancer. No, wait, my mistake, that last bit is the Daily Mail.

So, it’s a delight to see Godwins Law finally appearing in the debate. Not before time. More, more, more I say.

Bernard Rentier

First of all, in the traditional model, authors give away their rights to publishers, at least for articles (books are a different matter altogether). But correcting the mistakes and misconceptions in this post is too hard a task. Almost every statement is flat wrong. Whether it is on purpose or just because of a lack of information/understanding is difficult to say and does not really matter. In any case, it is pure disinformation.


Sorry, what’s this got to do with Hitler? I don’t see the connection.

Dennis Eckmeier

I disagree strongly. Individual scientists who make DIRECT contributions to translations of their work into products can opt for patents instead of publications, often act as (paid) consultants for the industry or found their own companies. Publicly funded scientists are honored for their impact with public grants and prices. If you simply find the knowledge that somebody else can use to create a product, I don’t see why you should be ‘rewarded’ for it by the private sector. It’s like saying everybody who builds machines with mechanical parts should pay Newton and any other physicist in the field of mechanics… Read more »

Stevan Harnad

This is just to agree with every single point made by Professor Oppenheim. Professor Dingwall’s article was remarkable uninformed.

Stevan Harnad

typo: remarkablY

Björn Brembs

Thank you very much, SAGE, for providing us with yet more evidence as to why universities and other publicly funded research institutions should cut all ties with corporate publishers of your ilk. I’m looking forward to the day when I don’t have to deal with multi-billion dollar corporations any more, who pull the Nazi card on me (I’m German!) as soon as their business model is being threatened by new technology. This day will now come just a little sooner, thanks to you.


Hello Bjorn, Just a quick note from SAGE (this is Mithu Lucraft replying on behalf of SAGE) to add to this thread that socialsciencespace exists for community discussion: neither this, nor any other individual blog post added by a member of this community has been written by, edited or endorsed by SAGE, other than those which are clearly posted under the SAGE account. You can read more about why we launched socialsciencespace here: I sincerely hope that this site will continue to attract a range of viewpoints from across the social science community, regardless of their stance. Comments, as… Read more »

Mike Taylor

Thank heavens the writer of this absurd piece of flamebait Godwinned himself right in the title, saving us the frightening prospect of anyone taking it seriously.

David Golumbia

I just want to emphasize the point you make about corporations. While I work in the humanities where corporations are unlikely to profit from my research, the fact remains that the OA movement is almost entirely focused on the not-for-profit sector, despite the already-heavy reliance of industry on research that was in part funded by government. Because that research is protected by intellectual property laws against which there is currently no credible protest, the OA movement ends up saying that poorly-paid academics must be forced to give their work away for free to corporations who already stand to profit from… Read more »

David States

The example cited, quoting an excerpt from a published work with attribution, pretty clearly falls within fair use so it really does not matter whether or not the primary source was published open access or under copyright. The big difference is that a reader could follow up and read the primary source material if it is published open access, but the vast majority of readers would not be able to do so if it was published under copyright only accessible through academic research libraries and expensive subscriptions.

Charles Oppenheim

It is difficult to know where to begin to correct the errors in this piece. Scholars do not get economic benefits from their journal articles at the moment, so why mention economic losses? Neo Nazi or other groups can already quote, selectively or not, from academic papers to promote their cause along the lines described already. The author seems to be confusing the recommendations of the Finch Report – which only applies to research funded by certain funding agencies – with the broader push towards Open Access, and in particular towards so-called “green” repositories, which impose no obligations on authors… Read more »

Dennis Eckmeier

Absolutely. I am a researcher and I don’t know any scientist in academia who does not want his work to be read by as many people as possible. It is also seriously annoying when you want to read an article your institution has no subscription for.

I also see academics making personal profit from their work without hiding their results from the public… literally on the same floor I work on.

Would love your thoughts, please comment.x