Summary of Is the Staggeringly Profitable Business of Scientific Publishing Bad for Science?

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Is the Staggeringly Profitable Business of Scientific Publishing Bad for Science? summary
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Stephen Buranyi’s scientific background is apparent throughout this article, but he also proves himself an entertaining storyteller. With the aid of interesting anecdotes and citations, he describes the rise of the immensely profitable scientific publishing industry under the dominance of its central figure, media mogul Robert Maxwell. getAbstract recommends this article to anyone who is interested in a behind-the-scenes look at scientific publishing, how it takes advantage of scientists and how it's shaping science.

In this summary, you will learn

  • How scientific publishing evolved,
  • How it works and
  • Why many people find it troubling.
 

About the Author

Stephen Buranyi is a freelance writer based in London and a former researcher in immunology.

 

Summary

How does scientific publishing work?

Articles published in scientific journals are the primary vehicle for disseminating scientists’ findings. Scientists conduct research, mostly funded by governments. They document their work in articles that they give to publishers for free. The publishers outsource most of the editing to other scientists, who check the validity of the research on a volunteer basis in a process called “peer review.” Publishers then sell these articles back to government-funded institutions, “to be read by scientists – who, in a collective sense, created the product in the first place.”

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