Reclaiming value from academic labor: commentary by the Editors of Human Geography
There have long been discussions about the need for an alternative publishing model for academic research. This has been made clear by the September 2017 scandal involving Third World Quarterly. The editor’s deeply problematic decision to publish an essay arguing in favor of colonialism was likely meant as click-bate to drive clicks and citations. But we should not lose sight of the fact that this latest scandal is only one recent manifestation of a long-simmering problem that has periodically commanded significant attention in the academic literature, blogs, email lists, conference sessions, and the popular press. As a direct result, over the last decade or more, new journals have been created that specifically endeavor to offer routes around corporate/capitalist academic publishing, and several existing journals have removed themselves from this profit-driven ecosystem. In this commentary, the editorial team of the journal Human Geography weighs in on what we see as the nature of the problem, what we are doing in response, what our successes have been, and what challenges remain.