by Ethan A. Huff
July 19, 2015
The flow of science in this modern age is largely controlled by just
six corporate publishing groups, which by calculated design have
been gobbling up the journal market since at least the 1970s:
And a new study out of Canada reveals
that this mass consolidation of publishing power is, to a large
extent, skewing what passes as scientific progress.
Researchers from the University of Montreal pored through the whole
of scientific literature published between 1973 and 2013 and found
that the publishing realm has changed dramatically during this time.
Many smaller publishers have been
absorbed into larger ones, for instance, and academic research
groups have become increasingly beholden to the interests of these
major publishers, which tend to favor large industries like
pharmaceuticals and vaccines.
Much of the independence that was once cherished within the
scientific community, in other words, has gone by the wayside as
these major publishers have taken control and now dictate what types
of content get published.
The result is a publishing oligopoly in
which scientists are muzzled by and overarching trend toward
politically correct, and industry-favoring, "science."
"Overall, the major publishers
control more than half of the market of scientific papers both
in the natural and medical sciences and in the social sciences
and humanities," said Professor Vincent Lariviere, lead author
of the study from the University of Montreal's School of Library
and Information Science.
"Furthermore, these large commercial publishers have huge sales,
with profit margins of nearly 40%.
While it is true that
publishers have historically played a vital role in the
dissemination of scientific knowledge in the print era, it is
questionable whether they are still necessary in today's digital
The following Natural News infographic
illustrates the disturbing reach of this academic oligarchy:
publishers control fields of chemistry, psychology and social
The fields most controlled by this academic oligarchy include those
On the flip side, biomedical research,
physics, and the arts and humanities are influenced to a much lesser
degree by these six corporate publishers, according to the study.
What this suggests is that, over time, certain disciplines have
become more corrupted than others as they've been absorbed into the
corporate publishing fold.
Such content, though often skewed, is
highly profitable for publishers which not only don't have to pay
for the articles they publish but also resell such content digitally
at profit margins upwards of 40%.
"As long as publishing in high
impact factor journals is a requirement for researchers to
obtain positions, research funding, and recognition from peers,
the major commercial publishers will maintain their hold on the
academic publishing system," added Lariviere.
one of "Big Six" corporate journals doesn't add value, study finds
But does publishing in high-impact journals really make much of a
difference in terms of article exposure and the quantity of
Not really, the researchers found.
The reach is roughly the same, they
found, except that smaller publishers are less likely to be actively
promoting a special interest agenda, and are thus less likely censor
science that doesn't correspond with the official narrative.
"One would expect that a major
publisher acquiring a journal would have the effect of
increasing the latter's visibility," said Lariviere. "However,
our study shows that there is no clear increase in terms of
citations after switching from a small to large publisher."
"Our findings question the real added value of big publishers.
Ultimately, the question is whether the services provided to the
scientific community by these publishers warrant the growing
share of university budgets allocated to them."