Individuation through infrastructure : Get Full Text Research, data extraction and the academic publishing oligopoly

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)
12 Downloads (Pure)


Purpose: This article explores the recent turn within academic publishing towards ‘seamless access’, an approach to content provision that ensures users do not have to continually authenticate in order to access journal content. Design/methodology/approach: Through a critical exploration of Get Full Text Research, a service developed collaboratively by five of the world's largest academic publishers to provide such seamless access to academic research, the article shows how publishers are seeking to control the ways in which readers access publications in order to trace, control and ultimately monetise user interactions on their platforms. Findings: Theorised as a process of individuation through infrastructure, the article reveals how publishers are attempting an ontological shift to position the individual, quantifiable researcher, rather than the published content, at the centre of the scholarly communication universe. Originality/value: The implications of the shift towards individuation are revealed as part of a broader trend in scholarly communication infrastructure towards data extraction, mirroring a trend within digital capitalism more generally.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)129-141
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Documentation
Issue number1
Early online date28 Jul 2020
Publication statusPublished - 2021

Bibliographical note

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  • Digital libraries
  • Libraries
  • Publishing
  • Data
  • Electronic journals
  • Electronic publishing

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