Surviving the Academia

January 25, 2024
< back

Season 2, Episode2 | “We pillage, we plunder, we rifle and loot”: Publish or Perish.

In this new episode of Surviving the Academia we tackle for the first time the complicated world of academic publishing. We dissect the business model of the big publishers and the economic and social consequences for both authors and institutions that are forced to pay double for content that should be in the public domain. In recent years, due to increasing criticism from academia of the abusive prices of both journal subscriptions and access to specific articles, large publishers have ended up embracing the model designed by the Open Access movement. Even so, this new model has generated a new problem: authors now must pay large sums of money to be able to publish their work, which leads to a socio-economic imbalance that prevents researchers with fewer resources or from less developed regions from participating in the academic debate. As a result, new movements against this model are emerging. Proof of this is the case of the editors of an Elsevier journal, who, as the researcher and content creator Dr. Glaucomflecken (Dr. Glaucomflecken on X: “Elsevier is losing editors” / X (, have left the editorial board block.

To talk about all this, we have our collaborator Alejandro Pedregal, researcher at Aalto University and filmmaker. We are also pleased to have Vishnu Bachani as our guest. Vishnu is studied music and mathematics at New York University and has worked as a consultant and diplomat. He is presently a master’s student in political science at the National Autonomous University of Mexico, studying informal methods of film and book distribution. With him we will talk about alternatives to the current publishing system, with a special focus on the Black Open Access movement. If you’re intrigued by what this movement is all about, you’ve come to the right place. Welcome to another episode of Surviving the Academia.

About Surviving the Academia

The program’s objective is to perform a brief analysis of the current situation of the Finnish universities, and the perspectives for the future considering organizational, sociological and pedagogical aspects. During the episodes we will explore different topics related with the university life that influence those who aim to build their academic career. These topics are approached from three main perspective: 1) The lack of resources that scientific research has nowadays due to the economical crisis and the COVID-19. 2) The difficulties to build up an academic career for researchers within universities and 3) The new and trendy University models which try to build bridges between the academia and the private sector and its impact on the structural and pedogeological impact on the institutions. We will explore these topics together with others relevant debates by interviewing both workers and students in a friendly atmosphere that enables them to share opinions and ideas that promote a healthy debate.


Hosts and producers: Jose Cañas-Bajo, Alejandro Pedregal
Guest: Vishnu Bachani 
Sound recording, editing & live streaming: Bailey Polkinghorne

*The audio piece was recorded and edited at the Helsinki Open Waves performance & recording room located at Caisa.

**The views expressed in this audio piece and texts are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the view of Helsinki Open Waves.  

***If you have any feedback regarding the content of the podcast, please contact us via