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

Back in 1988, Robert Maxwell predicted that, in the future, there would only be a handful of immensely powerful publishing companies left, operating in an electronic age with very low printing costs, leading to almost ‘pure profit’. In this theguardian article, Stephen Buranyi describes how the scholarly publishing industry came to be what it is and how academia has been complicit in its development at the expense of the advancement of knowledge and the ability for all mankind to benefit.
This development is very alarming during times when Publishers should actually take more responsibility to increase integrity of published results and data reproducibility. Why do we say that? Previous analysis’ have suggested that quality of research conduct is more or less the same for scientifically excellent papers and papers that are scientifically below average. This is a very dangerous situation because it is the scientifically excellent publications (= typically published in high IF journals) that result in follow-up research and therefore may be more likely to trigger waste of time, resources, money, etc.
Thus, there is one obvious solution – make an effort to equip scientifically excellent publications with particularly high quality standards. And Publishers are the most well suited to get this process going. LINK

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