On 17 May, SSRN the open access academic research repository, announced that it had ‘joined’ publishing giant Elsevier. Academics use the repository as a free means of disseminating their research, by uploading a work in progress or a pre-publication paper. This is good for academics who derive exposure for their work, but also for the public that can access scholarly publications for no cost.
The acquisition raises some serious questions for academics who are member of the SSRN community. Will Elsevier’s acquisition harm academics’ quest for true open access to research? And, it is right for a corporation to profit from the labour and metadata of academics and users of the otherwise free platform?