gate in Mattern 2018

dge production
practices and institutions, I looked forward to exploring this new collection
of liberated learning online – amidst that borderless ethereal terrain where
information just wants to be free. (…Not really.)

Instead, I encountered a gate whose keeper sought to extract a hefty toll: $42
to rent a single article for the day, or $153 to borrow it for the month. The
keeper of that particular gate, mega-publisher Taylor & Francis, like the
keepers of many other epistemic gates, has found toll-collecting to be quite a
profitable business. Some of the largest academic publishers have, in recent
years, achieved profit margins of nearly 40%, higher than those of Apple and
Google. Granted, I had access to an academic library a

hose libraries were paying for that access on my behalf; and
of all the un-affiliated readers, equally interested and invested in
decolonization, who had no academic librarians to serve as their liaisons.

I’ve found myself standing before similar gates in similar provinces of
paradox: the scholarly book on “open data” that sells for well over $100; the
conference on democratizing the “smart city,” where tickets sell for ten times
as much. Librarian Ruth Tillman was [struck with “acute i


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