Liberation through Cooperation: How Library Publishing Can Save Scholarly Journals from Neoliberalism

  • Dave S. Ghamandi (University of Virginia)


This commentary examines political and economic aspects of open access (OA) and scholarly journal publishing. Through a discourse of critique, neoliberalism is analyzed as an ideology causing many problems in the scholarly journal publishing industry, including the serials crisis. Two major efforts in the open access movement that promote an increase in OA funded by article-processing charges (APC)—the Open Access 2020 (OA2020) and Pay It Forward (PIF) initiatives—are critiqued as neoliberal frameworks that would perpetuate existing systems of domination and exploitation. In a discourse of possibility, ways of building a post-neoliberal system of journal publishing using new tactics and strategies, merging theory and praxis, and grounding in solidarity and cooperation are presented. This includes organizing journal publishing democratically using cooperatives, which could decommodify knowledge and provide greater open access. The article concludes with a vision for a New Fair Deal, which would revolutionize the system of scholarly journal publishing by transitioning journals to library publishing cooperatives.

Keywords: open access, neoliberalism, cooperatives, library publishing, scholarly publishing, serials crisis

How to Cite:

Ghamandi, D. S., (2018) “Liberation through Cooperation: How Library Publishing Can Save Scholarly Journals from Neoliberalism”, Journal of Librarianship and Scholarly Communication 6(2), p.eP2223. doi:



Published on
31 Aug 2018
Peer Reviewed