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Praising Elsevier, Cursing Springer

Praising Elsevier, Cursing Springer

In November of 2016, I made a list of links to research papers on the topic of CTFSG (Classification Theorem of the Finite Simple Groups) to aid students who want to study this beautiful, powerful, rich, deep, topic seriously. (Personally, I believe the CTFSG is humanity’s greatest intellectual achievement.) I was putting up links to hundreds of papers.

I noticed that most of these CTFSG math papers were published either by the Dutch company Elsevier, or the German company Springer. They split the papers roughly 50-50. I used Google Scholar to find the links. When I came across a paper which had a link to an Elsevier published paper  I would sigh in relief, because I knew that it would be a full text file that is freely downloadable. When I came across a paper which had a link to a Springer published paper I would  curse Springer, because I knew it would NOT be a full text file that is freely downloadable.

So I praise Elsevier for their open access to their research papers and curse Springer for the lack of theirs. This constant acceptance by Elsevier and constant rejection by Springer, paper after paper, taught me to really despise Springer. I assume a similar attitude towards Springer must exist with most math researchers around the world. Elsevier is making Springer look like a penny-pinching fool.

So Elsevier is benefitting by having a good reputation for their open access policy, whereas Springer is merely despised. I hope Springer will soon go out of business – the pluddite (paper luddite) that it is, imprisoning knowledge with its copyrighted paper products that are an albatross to researchers in the electronic age. Why should anyone pay $80 for one paper book, when they should be able to download a whole library for free electronically,  using the internet. Information is now electronic and therefore should be free. The pluddites (paper luddites) are an expensive, redundant, relic who should be removed.

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