submitted 8 months ago by L4s@lemmy.world to c/technology@lemmy.world

“Most notorious” illegal shadow library sued by textbook publishers [Updated]::Previous efforts to unmask the people behind Libgen have failed.

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[-] brisk@aussie.zone 124 points 8 months ago

The US Textbook industry single-handedly justifies the existence of Library Genesis (if it requires justification)

[-] magnor@lemmy.magnor.ovh 46 points 8 months ago

The EU is not any better on that front. Looking a you Elsevier and Springer.

[-] aksdb@feddit.de 27 points 8 months ago

Elsevier is probably the worst of them. When even authors want to stay away from a publisher due to their behavior, that means something.

[-] JoBo@feddit.uk 35 points 8 months ago

Academic publishers don't pay authors, which is only part of the reason we hate them. Is the staggeringly profitable business of scientific publishing bad for science?.

But Elsevier’s business model seemed a truly puzzling thing. In order to make money, a traditional publisher – say, a magazine – first has to cover a multitude of costs: it pays writers for the articles; it employs editors to commission, shape and check the articles; and it pays to distribute the finished product to subscribers and retailers. All of this is expensive, and successful magazines typically make profits of around 12-15%.

The way to make money from a scientific article looks very similar, except that scientific publishers manage to duck most of the actual costs. Scientists create work under their own direction – funded largely by governments – and give it to publishers for free; the publisher pays scientific editors who judge whether the work is worth publishing and check its grammar, but the bulk of the editorial burden – checking the scientific validity and evaluating the experiments, a process known as peer review – is done by working scientists on a volunteer basis. The publishers then sell the product back to government-funded institutional and university libraries, to be read by scientists – who, in a collective sense, created the product in the first place.

It is as if the New Yorker or the Economist demanded that journalists write and edit each other’s work for free, and asked the government to foot the bill. Outside observers tend to fall into a sort of stunned disbelief when describing this setup. A 2004 parliamentary science and technology committee report on the industry drily observed that “in a traditional market suppliers are paid for the goods they provide”. A 2005 Deutsche Bank report referred to it as a “bizarre” “triple-pay” system, in which “the state funds most research, pays the salaries of most of those checking the quality of research, and then buys most of the published product”.

[-] magnor@lemmy.magnor.ovh 20 points 8 months ago

Yeah, this should be illegal. This is a monopoly on steroids funded by taxpayer money.

[-] RubberElectrons@lemmy.world 8 points 8 months ago

Think of how much innovation gets stifled by these gatekeepers. I've seen interesting research get forced out of the pipeline of a premier journal into that of a lower standard mainly because two of the reviewers held a personal grudge against the PI (principle investigator) attempting to publish.

[-] Zeth0s@lemmy.world 18 points 8 months ago
[-] magnor@lemmy.magnor.ovh 15 points 8 months ago

At this point I'm pretty sure even Satan sold his Elsevier stock out of ethical concern.

[-] NOT_RICK@lemmy.world 32 points 8 months ago

Buying and selling textbooks in college taught me more about American capitalism than my economics courses ever did

[-] enki@lemm.ee 16 points 8 months ago

What part of buying a textbook for $250 then selling it back in like-new condition to the same retailer for $20 three months later is bad for the consumer?

this post was submitted on 17 Sep 2023
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