Reactionary Rhetoric Against Open Access Publishing

  • Wayne Bivens-Tatum Princeton University, Princeton NJ
Keywords: Open-access, Scholarly publishing, Reactionary, Rhetoric


In 2013, Jeffrey Beall published an attack on the open-access scholarship movement in tripleC: “The Open-Access Movement Is Not Really About Open Access”. This article examines the claims and arguments of that contribution. Beall’s article makes broad generalizations about open-access advocates with very little supporting evidence, but his rhetoric provides good examples of what Albert O. Hirschman called the “rhetoric of reaction”. Specifically, it provides examples of the perversity thesis, the futility thesis, and the jeopardy thesis in action. While the main argument is both unsound and invalid, it does show a rare example of reactionary rhetoric from a librarian.

Author Biography

Wayne Bivens-Tatum, Princeton University, Princeton NJ
Philosophy and Religion Librarian, Princeton University
Debating Open Access (Comments, Non Peer-Reviewed)