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RE: Monopolies

Nobody *has* to drink Coca Cola; nobody *has* to go to Harvard. Anybody
can choose to take another drink, it doesn't even have to be fizzy, or
prefer another university.

Scientist *do* have to have access to relevant papers in order to do their
research properly. Papers are unique. They can't just read journal X
because it's cheaper or more accessible than journal Y if the crucial
paper they need happens to be in journal Y.

When papers by scientists from developing countries are rejected for
publication, reasons quoted by reviewers often include that they 'lack the
connection with the current literature; don't cite the relevant papers;
show hiatuses in their awareness of where their knowledge in their
discipline stands' or some such indications that the researchers in
question don't have sufficient access to the literature. What's
particularly stark in the case of papers from developing countries also
happens to papers from under-endowed (literature-wise) universities in
developed countries, albeit possibly not to the same degree.

These papers don't get rejected if the authors don't drink Coca Cola or
haven't gone to Harvard or another prestigious US university (though I'm
sometimes not too sure about the latter, I have to admit).

Jan Velterop 

> -----Original Message-----
> From: Joseph J. Esposito [mailto:espositoj@worldnet.att.net]
> Sent: 06 June 2004 21:35
> To: liblicense-l@lists.yale.edu
> Subject: Monopolies
> the issue is that monopoly has no place in science (or in a true free 
> market, for that matter). The essential elements of competition and 
> choice are lacking in the traditional publishing system.
> JE:  Wouldn't this also be true of real estate as well?  If you own a 
> lot in a good commercial neighborhood, isn't that also a "monopoly," in 
> the sense of this context?  If you control a brand name (Coca Cola or 
> Harvard, Yale, or Stanford), isn't that a monopoly?  Why the insistence 
> on treating publishing any differently? [SNIP]
> Joe Esposito