Anita Schjøll Brede at Slush in Helsinki. It was 1995, the year that Craigslist, eBay and Expedia were born.

The age of the internet had arrived, and we at Forbes magazine, all too aware of academics’ complaints about cashing out for research, made a prediction: Elsevier, the largest publisher of scientific journals, would be its “first victim”. Yet recent years have seen Elsevier profits swell to more than £900 million closing in on a 40% profit margin.

It seems to be—as the Financial Times claimed in 2015—“the business the internet could not kill”. This hasn’t stopped resentment from brewing as journal prices continue to rise above inflation.

In the U.K. universities paid an average of nearly £4 million ($5.4 million) for journal subscriptions last year, with the majority of this budget going to five academic publishing companies: Elsevier, Springer, Wiley-Blackwell, Taylor & Francis and Sage.

At the close of 2017, a group of 200 German Universities even stood together against Elsevier, sparking further unrest in Sweden alongside renewed outrage from European academia. The cofounders of Maria Ritola, Jacobo Elosua, Anita Schjøll Brede and Victor Botev. Read more from…

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