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A look at how science publishing became a juggernaut industry

Stephen Buranyi explored how the business of publishing science (and other) research reports became such a big business. Buranyi’s article, appeared in The Guardian, in 2017:

Is the staggeringly profitable business of scientific publishing bad for science?

It is an industry like no other, with profit margins to rival Google – and it was created by one of Britain’s most notorious tycoons: Robert Maxwell. By Stephen Buranyi

Here’s an especially lurid passage:

 “He said, ‘You have no idea how profitable these journals are once you stop doing anything. When you’re building a journal, you spend time getting good editorial boards, you treat them well, you give them dinners. Then you market the thing and your salespeople go out there to sell subscriptions, which is slow and tough, and you try to make the journal as good as possible. That’s what happened at Pergamon. And then we buy it and we stop doing all that stuff and then the cash just pours out and you wouldn’t believe how wonderful it is.’

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