Techdirt: Research Shows That Published Versions Of Papers In Costly Academic Titles Add Almost Nothing To The Freely-Available Preprints They Are Based On

Techdirt: Research Shows That Published Versions Of Papers In Costly Academic Titles Add Almost Nothing To The Freely-Available Preprints They Are Based On. “Academic publishers justify their high prices and fat profit margins by claiming that they ‘add value’ as papers progress through the publication process. Although many have wondered whether that is really true — does a bit of sub-editing and design really justify the ever-rising subscription costs? — hard evidence has been lacking that could be used to challenge the publishers’ narrative. A paper from researchers at the University of California and Los Alamos Laboratory is particularly relevant here. It appeared first on arXiv.org in 2016 (pdf), but has only just been ‘officially’ published (paywall). It does something really obvious but also extremely valuable: it takes around 12,000 academic papers as they were originally released in their preprint form, and compares them in detail with the final version that appears in the professional journals, sometimes years later, as the paper’s own history demonstrates. The results are unequivocal…”