Published on November 22nd, 20121
The Fight Against Academic Monopoly
By Tor G. Jakobsen
After a succesfull first month of Popular Social Science we are now heading into the unknown future, both for the journal and for social science research in general. I would like to thank you, our readers, for being our most valuable asset in these first critical weeks.
We never expected so many readers in such a short amount of time, and are grateful for the strong position you have given our journal.
The reason that we started our project was simple: we wanted to bring science to the people for free. I am happy to announce that this will be the case in the future as well.
An additional goal of ours has been to approach one of the greatest problems facing modern social science, namely the price research institutions have to pay to access academic articles. A handful of companies control the lion’s share of journals, and use their position to charge large amounts from libraries for access to works that academics themselves submit and review for free.
As a result, one sees the development of a so-called A- and B-league of universities worldwide. The A-league consists of universities in rich Western industrialized countries who can afford to subscribe to academic research. The B-league consists of universities from poorer countries who cannot afford these services.
Unfortunately this has implications for young aspiring research talents from developing countries. They often face difficulties when applying for jobs in leading universities, not because of a lack of talent, but due to a lack of access to the research literature. I believe it is morally irresponsible to allow this trend to continue.
However, we do not view ourselves as a David fighting against large monopolistic companies. We are just three ordinary guys doing what we enjoy and what we believe is right, and this is the driving force behind our journal.
Popular Social Science is a journal for researchers, students, former students, and those with an interest for the social sciences.
Popular Social Science is also a journal for those people who do not participate in the public discourse, yet have an interest for social science and want to have it presented in a balanced manner.
We are a journal for the silent majority, that is, those who believe in truth and reason and are tired of reading newspapers and blogs that are careless with regard to facts and often have political agendas.
Our vision is for Popular Social Science to become a leading resource for free-of-charge articles. We believe it is wrong that only rich universities in Western countries should enjoy exclusive access to social science research.
We can not guarantee that every reader will like all our articles all the time. But we can guarantee that our articles and facts will have a fundament built on ongoing research and reason. Our promise is that we will always give our best in order to bring science to the people.