Screening of Documentary Film: Paywall – OHIO University Libraries

Screening of Documentary Film: Paywall

Join the Libraries’ Scholarly Communication Community of Practice in a screening of the documentary, “Paywall: The Business of Scholarship,” on Thurs. Feb. 21 from 2-3:30 p.m. in Alden Library (319). The film, which promotes open access publishing, critiques the greed behind the publishing industry.

According to Lindsay McKenzie, some of the questions raised by the film are: “How is it possible that big for-profit publishers, such as Elsevier, have bigger profit margins than some of the biggest corporations in the world like top tech companies Apple, Facebook and Google?” and  “Why can’t everyone read all publicly funded research?”

The 65-minute film, featuring dozens of interviews, has one message: the system for disseminating research is broken and needs fixing. Some of the people in the film include John Adler, professor of neurosurgery at Stanford University; Richard Price, founder and CEO of the academic social networking site:; and Tom Callaway, university outreach leader for the open-source software company, Red Hat. The main criticism of the film is that it is considered one-sided because only a few representatives from the publishing industry are featured.

The film director Jason Schmitt, an associate professor of communication and media at Clarkson University, sets an example by making the film openly licensed and free to watch, which also allows for sharing, or adaptation, as long as credit is given to its creators.

One of Schmitt’s notable quotes from the film is: “The publishing industry has been able to thrive because it has taken advantage of the people who provide its core product—researchers.”

Watch the teaser below:

Paywall The Movie Teaser from Paywall The Movie on Vimeo.