A researcher in certain field spend months on research and then start writing the research work and aim to send this work to reputed journal(of course paid or probably through open access), then the research work goes to reviewers for reviewing, who also spend many days on reviewing this work, finally when this work of author is accepted, the publisher put this work of author on sale to universities/colleges.

Now in this whole scenario author get no monetary benefit neither the reviewer and the publisher would earn millions on such paid articles by just handling the process of publication which is fully automated these days.

So my question is, to what extent this business run by publishers is ethical? Then why they get really mad when one young girl(Alexandra Elbakyan) from Ukraine started stealing their paid articles through SCI-HUB ? After all they (publisher) are hugely earning without any significant investment.

Finally, isn't this unfair that author and reviewer are not part of income earned by publisher by selling their work to universities and colleges.

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  • I voted to close as "Unclear what you're asking" because I don't understand why reviewers/authors getting paid has anything to do with one young girl from Ukraine? – scaaahu May 14 '16 at 12:49
  • @scaaahu.....I think you don't know about "Alexandra Elbakyan" and you don't even know about sci-hub.cc website from where paid articles can be downloaded for free. Read about petition filed by Elsevier on Alexandra Elbakyan. I am talking about madness of Elsevier. – IgotiT May 14 '16 at 15:21
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    Voting to leave this closed as it is more a rant than a question and what question there is is too opinion based for this platform. Note that this does not mean that I disagree with this being an important discussion – this is just not the right place for it. – Wrzlprmft May 14 '16 at 15:45

Although there may be many views and can differ widely from one to another, I will try to address some of them with care.

Do reviewers get paid for their work?

Some do; most don't. Refer this post for more details: Are there any journals that pay reviewers?

Why are some journals so concerned about paying for articles?

Even if the intent may be to promote knowledge, there's no free lunch. Keeping a large repository of articles reliable and secure takes a lot of technological effort that cannot come for free -- someone would have to pay for it. Hence some reputable open-access journals make up for this cost by demanding extra money for their publication and embargo for lesser amounts.

Should reviewers get paid for their work?

Coming back to your main question, the answer highly depends on one's opinion. The art of review itself is considered to be an altruistic service. Reviewers of reputable journals considers their position as a matter of pride. But, in general, as reviewers do sacrifice their valuable time and effort in doing this task, it would be better if they do get paid. Then again, this is subjective.

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    I cannot agree with the argument that publication fees cater for hosting costs. These fees are several order of magnitude larger than what would be reasonable by this criterion. – Federico Poloni May 14 '16 at 17:36
  • This is not organised by a single body; one cannot underestimate the underestimate cost. But personally, I feel the same way you do @FedericoPoloni. – Ébe Isaac May 15 '16 at 1:36
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    "Reviewers of reputable journals considers their position as a matter of pride". Agreed, but only if I do it for the community itself, without a publishing company earning millions. If we publish and review without any income, we should also expect no other to make any money out of it. We should create a database which is maintained between universities, or something like that, with free access for everyone (like arXiv etc.). – ares Jun 20 '20 at 11:30

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