Study Finds Nearly All Scientific Papers Controlled By Six Corporations Tags: corporations scientific community studies funding biases corporate control scientific papers

Study Finds Nearly All Scientific Papers Controlled By Six Corporations

July 22, 2015 by John Vibes

When children grow up dreaming of becoming scientists they have the purest of aspirations and if they were left to pursue their own studies they would be able to accomplish the unimaginable. Unfortunately, to become a member of the scientific community one has to jump through many bureaucratic hoops until they are eventually inducted into an establishment which is tightly regulated and directed by warmongers and control freak aristocrats.

People spend half of their lives taking classes, passing tests and filling out applications in hopes that one day they can become a scientist and cure a disease. After years of struggling to make the cut they realize that there is no funding for their charitable projects and if they dare step outside of the established guidelines they will be exiled from the scientific community.

Additionally, even when legitimate studies are done, they hardly ever reach the public or get taken seriously because most of the publishers that are considered “reputable” are controlled by just a few corporations that heavily censor the information that gets released.

A recent study conducted by Professor Vincent Lariviere from the University of Montreal’s School of Library and Information Science, and a number of other researchers, found that nearly all major scientific papers are controlled by the same six corporations.

“Overall, the major publishers control more than half of the market of scientific papers both in the natural and medical sciences and in the social sciences and humanities. Furthermore, these large commercial publishers have huge sales, with profit margins of nearly 40%. While it is true that publishers have historically played a vital role in the dissemination of scientific knowledge in the print era, it is questionable whether they are still necessary in today’s digital era,” Lariviere said.

The researchers sifted through tons of studies that were published between the years of 1973 and 2013 and found that the studies were overwhelmingly published by the same six publishers. The publishers named in the study are ACS, Reed Elsevier, Sage, Taylor & Francis, Springer, and Wiley Blackwell.

Lariviere explained how this can create problems, saying that “As long as publishing in high impact factor journals is a requirement for researchers to obtain positions, research funding, and recognition from peers, the major commercial publishers will maintain their hold on the academic publishing system.” 

One would expect that a major publisher acquiring a journal would have the effect of increasing the latter’s visibility. However, our study shows that there is no clear increase in terms of citations after switching from a small to large publisher. Our findings question the real added value of big publishers. Ultimately, the question is whether the services provided to the scientific community by these publishers warrant the growing share of university budgets allocated to them,” Lariviere added.

John Vibes writes for True Activist and is an author, researcher and investigative journalist who takes a special interest in the counter culture and the drug war.

This article ( Study Finds Nearly All Scientific Papers Controlled By Six Corporations ) is free and open source. You have permission to republish this article under a Creative Commons license with attribution to the author and

This week, geologists will attempt to drill through Earth’s crust and into the mantle

This week, geologists will attempt to drill through Earth’s crust and into the mantle

Starting this week, scientists will begin a multiyear expedition to drill below the Earth’s crust, reports Nature. The quest to reach the Earth’s mantle began more than 60 years ago when Scripps Oceanographer Walter Munk conceived of the idea while talking with his colleagues over drinks in 1957. The scientists began work on Project Mohole, which had the goal of reaching the crust-mantle transitional area known as the Mohorovičić discontinuity or the Moho Layer. First identified in 1909, the Moho is a boundary layer that separates both the oceanic crust and continental crust from the underlying mantle. The early explorers began drilling in 1960 off the coast of Mexico, but they had to stop after only 183 meters due to cost overruns that killed the project.

Despite this setback, Project Mohole kicked off a series of similar ocean drilling projects that have greatly expanded our knowledge of Earth science, including important discoveries about plate tectonics and subterraneous microbial life. Now in 2015, another group is poised to pick up where others have left off. These deep rock areas are an unexplored frontier and the study of these underground treasures “is one of the great scientific endeavors of the century”, said Henry Dick, a Woods Hole geophysicist and co-leader of the 2015 expedition.

The researchers have selected a drilling location in the Atlantis Bank, which is situated in the southwestern Indian Ocean. Due to its unique geology, the ocean is relatively shallow in this area and the mantle rises close to the surface, making it easier to access. It also means there are less hard-to-crack crustal rocks, which have thwarted previous attempts to access this part of the Earth’s crust. Initially, the group plans to use the JOIDES Resolution drill ship to drill down 1.5 kilometers into the crust, collecting a core sample as it moves through the layers of rock. If this first mission proceeds smoothly, then the team will seek funding for additional missions to break into the mantle, first drilling down 3 kilometers in Phase 2 and then gradually more than 5 kilometers in Phase 3.

Besides reaching the mantle, the team of researchers also are interested in studying the geology and biology of the area. Recent studies suggest the Atlantis Bank may be a source of serpentinite rock, which forms when seawater reacts with peridotite in the mantle rock, especially those that have been moved upwards by plate tectonics. They also hope to find microbial species that live off methane, which is produced when this serpentinite rock is formed. The first phase of this research will begin this month and will last until January 30, 2016. The second and third phase will begin at an undetermined date in the future using the Japanese drill ship Chikyu, which is capable of drilling down the 6 kilometers need to reach the Moho layer.


Sound Waves – How They Can Hurt You & How to Protect Yourself Tags: Science and Technology

Gabe Vogt
Guest writer,

Back in 2007, in response to a U.S. military project, Danley Sound Labs created the Matterhorn, a subwoofer speaker bigger than a pickup truck. At its mouth, the Matterhorn prototype generated 160 decibels, powerful enough to destroy the human ear instantly. Three football fields away, the speaker projected 105 decibels, equivalent to running a lawn mower next to your ear. When the Matterhorn was first demonstrated, officials would not allow Danley to turn the speaker up very far for fear of structurally damaging the surrounding building.

Fortunately, commercial versions of the Matterhorn are scaled down to safer levels. But there’s a lesson in this story: Sound is a physical force that must be respected and handled responsibly.

The Science of Sound

Sound is the energy produced when things vibrate, forcing a surrounding medium (such as air) to vibrate as well. The vibrating medium travels in cycles, first compressing as the vibrating object moves outward, and then expanding to fill the space left by the object as it retreats inward.

When diagrammed mathematically, these cycles take the shape of a whip, forming a sine wave with crests and troughs. Points on the X axis midway between each crest and trough, known as nodes, represent where the medium hosting the wave would normally be if the vibration were not disturbing it. The vertical distance between a node and a crest or trough is known as the amplitude and represents degree of disturbance. The horizontal distance between one crest or trough and another is called the wavelength. The number of crests or troughs that pass a given point per second is the frequency. Frequency is calculated by dividing the velocity of the wave by its wavelength and is measured in hertz. The power carried by a sound wave per unit area is called its intensity. Intensity is measured in decibels.


When these waves are perceived by the human ear, the loudness of a sound depends largely on its amplitude. The pitch of a sound depends on its frequency. The quality of a sound depends on how harmonic the synchronization is between the phases of the primary wave produced by the vibrating object and secondary waves produced by different parts of the vibrating object, known as overtones. A piano sounds different than a violin because they have different overtones.

High Decibels Can Hurt You

Because sound waves carry power, exposure to excessive decibels can hurt or damage your ears. Normal conversations occur around 60 dB, while shouting rises to 90 to 95 dB, and a boom box increases toward 96 to 100 dB.

Sounds become harmful above 85 dB. According to the CDC, you can be exposed to 85 dB for up to 8 hours before it becomes dangerous, but at 88 dB this drops to 4 hours, and by the time you reach 112 dB, 1 minute of exposure puts you at risk. You don’t even have to hear such sounds for damage to occur; recent research at Ludwig Maximilian University shows that even inaudible low-frequency sounds can affect you.

Sound can also affect you psychologically. A 2011 World Health Organization study found a correlation between prolonged exposure to noise pollution, high blood pressure and fatal heart attacks. The study also found that exposure to chronic noise, such as living near airports, can impact children’s development and cause health and educational problems.

Using Sound Safely

To reduce noise pollution, turn off your electronic devices when you’re not using them to reduce background noise. Soundproof your surroundings by using rugs or carpets to cover hard floors, putting shelves or furniture against noisy walls, using curtains, and repairing or replacing faulty windows. Cancel out negative sounds by creating peaceful sounds around you. For example, you can install a surround sound or sound bar system and use it to play soothing music. Periodically take quiet time to meditate quietly and cultivate a sense of silence.


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