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UMKC Libraries Hosts Documentary Screening


Learn more about open access publishing, what the Affordable and Open Educational Resources Committee is doing to lower cost at UMKC and watch a free screening of the documentary Paywall: The Business of Scholarship, hosted by UMKC Libraries.

The screening will be at 4 p.m., April 25 in Room 325 of UMKC Miller Nichols Library. The documentary focuses on the need for open access to research and science, questions the rationale behind the $25.2 billion a year that flows into for-profit academic publishers, examines the 35 to 40 percent profit margin associated with the top academic publisher Elsevier and looks at how that profit margin is often greater than some of the most profitable tech companies such as Apple, Facebook and Google.

The showing of the documentary is timely because the University of California (UC) system recently announced it will stop paying to subscribe to journals published by Elsevier, according to an article published by Science.

Elsevier is the world’s largest scientific publisher. After eight months of negotiations, the university said that Elsevier refused to strike a deal that would provide a break on subscription fees and make all articles published by UC authors open access. The 10-campus UC system accounts for close to 10 percent of all U.S. publishing output, and about 10,000 of the 50,000 articles published by UC researchers last year appeared in Elsevier journals.

Most people do not see the cost of these subscription fees charged by commercial publishers, as most libraries at U.S. universities cover the subscriptions in their collections budgets. According to the Los Angeles Times UC paid about $11 million for its subscriptions and article fees.

For questions or more information contact Morgan Staudinger,, or Scott Curtis,

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