I have been looking at the academic publishing for a long time and keep on writing about it frequently. The true cost of access, of course, is lesser than advertised. Besides, most publishers are now pushing their proprietary tools for digital rights management for “renting” out articles. This a wild west and away from the regulatory oversight and I keep on wondering how much the publishers lobby to keep it this way.
In this gloomy scenario, there is a bright spot. As reported, India wants to negotiate the rates for the entire country. There’s a draft proposal for the Union cabinet to be placed at the year’s end.
The success of the proposal relies on the willingness of the publishers’ to negotiate nationwide subscriptions. However, if negotiations are successful, India would become the largest country to strike deals with global publishers, giving access to their paywalled articles to all of its citizens.
If India succeeds in negotiations, this would pave way for the other countries to seriously look at this model.