Interview | Jean-Sébastien Caux: Rethinking Academic Publishing, Open Access & SciPost

Jean-Sébastien Caux is Professor in theoretical condensed matter physics at the University of Amsterdam. A Canadian citizen, he obtained his PhD in Oxford, was postdoctoral Fellow in All Souls, and moved to the Netherlands in 2003. Besides his research activities, he is actively involved in the reform of scientific publishing. He is the founder, implementer and current chairman of open access publication portal SciPost. Jean-Sébastien reflects on the current state of play of the scientific publishing landscape and copyright’s role. He talks about the open access movement and the major hurdles or speed bumps ahead. Jean-Sébastien unravels how his personal frustrations led to the creation of SciPost and discusses the effort’s long term sustainability. He makes a plea to change the institutional mindset and move towards Diamond Open Access. Jean-Sébastien calls for academic rebellion and gives a word of warning about the next can of worms: publishers’ surveillance operations. Finally, he concludes by encouraging his fellow academics to educate themselves about copyright and the academic publishing machine.

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Video highlights with timestamps:

00:00 Intro

01:39 The current state of play of the scientific publishing landscape and copyright’s role

06:18 The open access movement and the major hurdles or speed bumps ahead

13:05 The story behind the SciPost publishing infrastructure

20:10 Ensuring SciPost’s long term sustainability

26:56 A plea to change the institutional mindset and move towards Diamond Open Access

32:50 Calling for academic rebellion and a word of warning about the next can of worms: publishers’ surveillance operations

38:47 Hitting the ‘Wall’

41:15 Final thoughts