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Martin Paul Eve

Professor of Literature, Technology and Publishing at Birkbeck, University of London

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Here's the video of my talk to the UKSG Conference in Glasgow in June 2012.

In the contemporary publish-or-perish culture, very few academics query the mechanisms through which their work is distributed. At the same time, academic libraries and publishers are playing a dangerous power game in which each threatens the existence of the other in their own bid to stay afloat. What is not commonly recognised is the selfdestructive elements brought to the table by these parties. This paper examines the autosubversive behaviour of each of these actors through a metaphorical parallel with the zombie in computer science: the term for an infected machine inside a network of such devices all working against their original purpose. Having examined the constraints, motivations and power-relations brought to bear from library budgets, open access and an audit culture/currency of reputation, the conclusion presents several viable alternatives to cleanse the academic publishing network of its zombie constituents.

You can also download the video.