Paywall: The Business of Scholarship

October 3, 2018

In recognition of Open Access Week 2018, the UW-Madison Libraries are hosting a free public screening of the film Paywall: The Business of Scholarship, followed by a Q & A panel with UW-Madison scholarly communication experts. Join us on October 22 at 3:30 PM, at The Marquee in Union South.

Open Access is a movement to increase availability to scholarly articles for researchers in all walks of life, by lowering or removing the prohibitively high cost of subscription to academic journals. Similar to the Wisconsin Idea, a principle of Open Access is that knowledge produced in scholarly institutions should benefit people around the world. Journal publishers and other content providers use paywalls to limit access to paid subscribers, and keeping information locked behind paywalls may slow global progress in research and innovation.

The film, Paywall, explores some of the drawbacks of the current academic publishing model, and presents interviews with advocates for increased access; interviewees include Alexandra Elbakyan (SciHub), Brian Nosek (Center for Open Science), and Louise Page (PLoS). However, there are many challenges surrounding changing the current model of scholarly publishing which the film does not fully address.

The Libraries are looking forward to engaging in a discussion of the benefits and challenges of the open access movement with our campus community and the public. The panel will be moderated by Carrie Nelson, Director of Scholarly Communication at UW-Madison. Panelists include Doug Way, Associate University Librarian for Collections and Research; Dorothea Salo, Faculty Associate, iSchool; Toni Gunnison, Journals Manager for UW Press, and Karl Broman, Professor, Department of Biostatistics and Medical Informatics.