Tearing Down the Paywall


Academic journals are essential to scholarly research. Scientists making new discoveries publish their findings in these journals, for example, but also read the journals to stay abreast of the latest research. The journals are also hugely profitable—just not for the researchers who provide their content. Researchers pay huge fees to access journal articles, but this money is not remunerated to the scholars responsible for writing the papers. Instead, for-profit publishers retain the proceeds. Now academics are revolting. The Atlantic examines this highly profitable business and how some academics hope to change it.

Ian MacAllen is the author of Red Sauce: How Italian Food Became American (Rowman & Littlefield, April 2022). His writing has appeared in Chicago Review of Books, Southern Review of Books, The Offing, 45th Parallel Magazine, Little Fiction, Vol 1. Brooklyn, and elsewhere. He tweets @IanMacAllen and is online at IanMacAllen.com. More from this author →