Volume 1, Number 1 (2008)

Editorial: The Neoliberalization of Knowledge

Richard Peet

Clark University 


In the past, the means of publication of academic journal articles were controlled by academic and professional institutions. But over the last twenty years, control over the dissemination of scientific knowledge has increasingly been privatized. Access to published knowledge increasingly passes through private corporations, as with Thompson Reuters, a giant media/news/information conglomerate, with a  “product  line”  that  ranges  from  financial  and enterprise information to the social science citation index. They publish the Journal Citation Report and the Journal Use Report as parts of their “ISI Web of Knowledge”.  Journals that this corporation does not index might just as well not exist. Writers that this corporation does not follow, write in thin air. Our work is not known if they choose not to notice us. We are judged, ranked and ordered via criteria decided upon by a media corporation.