In 2016, the New England Journal of Medicine published an editorial against data sharing in research, calling those who re-analyze published data, \u201cparasites\u201d. Yesterday, the journal published another editorial in a similar vein, but this time against open access. I don\u2019t have time to rebut each pernicious editorial attacking open access, but this one is high profile and is currently gleefully being shared by opponents of open access (for example, here is a VP from Elsevier promoting it).The people spreading this editorial highlight its three key objections to open access:OA increases costs of publishing OA does not accelerate science because citations for subscription journals are higher Researchers still prefer to publish in subscription journalsI am setting a 60-minute timer and will address as many of the misleading points as I can.Part I, Costs.---Editorial: \u201cAnd have costs come down? ... if anything, the total cost of publishing is actually increasing.It may also be that the open access movement underestimated the difficulty and costs involved in recreating a publishing landscape with the same variety and quality of journals, using a different business model.A subscription-based model may also be the only model that can finance highly selective journals with comprehensive editorial processes and quality control.We like the free content available on YouTube, Facebook, and blogs, but we are happy to subscribe to Netflix, TV networks, and newspapers, too. Most of us are willing to pay for curated and enhanced content, while we also appreciate experimentation with new forms of information and communication. "---No, the costs have not come down, but it\u2019s not because the internet is more expensive than print or because OA journals charge more than subscription ones. The costs have not come down because subscription journals have not switched to open access, so they maintain their exorbitant profit margins, and many double-dip and charge extra for those who want their articles to be open access.If you actually analyze real open access journals (not hybrids that get both subscriptions and open access fees), you can see that author-pays open access publishing, because it\u2019s transparent pricing, is much less expensive, even for the highly selective journals. Today, the biggest subscription publishers are enjoying 30%-40% profit margins. If we switch from subscription publishing to pay-to-publish open access, these margins are likely to drop to 10%-20%. This is exactly why the subscription publishers are fighting the recent Plan S funder initiative to mandate immediate open access. The publishers\u2019 profits, like those of NEJM, are threatened by Plan S, and hence this editorial.It is outrageous for this NEJM editorial to pretend that open access increases costs, while the whole point of this piece is to maintain the profit margins by lobbying against Plan S and the switch to open access.And the parts about \u201cwe still want curated content and only subscription journals can provide it\u201d - I have a hard time responding to this without profanity. First of all, it is equating almost 13,000 rigorous open access journals with blogs and Youtube. They ALL DO peer review and curate content! Moreover, highly selective journals like eLife and PLOS Biology are different from NEJM and Nature in really just two ways: they charge society $2,500-$3,000 per article instead of $30,000-$50,000 at Nature\/NEJM, and they are open access. So, eLife and PLOS Biology charge a fraction of NEJM and the published articles are free for everyone forever to access. Part II. OA does not accelerate science---Editorial: "The journals where articles get the most citations on average and the journals that get the most citations in absolute numbers are currently overwhelmingly subscription journals, not open access journals."---Yes, that is true, but how does this say anything about open access, the citation advantage, and the impact of open access on accelerating science?Traditional journals like NEJM have famous brands and to protect their profits have refused to switch to open access. Of course the articles they publish continue to have higher citations. The real question is: if PNAS where to flip to full open access, would its articles be cited more or less? All the evidence we have says unambiguously that the open access articles would be cited more.Also, citations are just one and not the right way of asking whether subscriptions slow down science. From my recent blog post specifically on this issue, discussing the many ways in which open access accelerates science:---So, let's focus on the\u00a0concrete benefits of open access to society and the progress of science. I started the social media hashtag #OpenIsBetter to crowdsource some of these and will summarize many of the answers below.Open Access gives policy makers access to research. That's right: politicians, NGOs, government employees do not typically have subscriptions and have trouble getting papers that they need.OA helps biotechs, startups, all companies without access because they\u2019re outside of university campuses.Pay-to-publish may be hard for authors in less wealthy institutions, but any single student or postdoc only publishes once every few years; reading papers and access are a daily activity for scientists. It's a particularly acute\nproblem in the Global South. So barriers to reading hurt orders of magnitude more than barriers to publishing.Teachers often need access but do not have it.Even scientists at wealthy universities struggle with access to papers, particularly if off campus and trying to\u00a0get a paper when\u00a0at a conference or at home.'#OpenIsBetter because as a librarian I can focus more on facilitating understanding of knowledge & not access - I didn't become a librarian to act as a gatekeeper to information, nor to manage IP addresses, nor negotiate contracts.'OA\u00a0allows medical providers to read the results of the latest studies, helping them to better diagnose & treat their patients. Most doctors cannot see most of the papers that they typically need.Journalists, just like doctors, often cannot access the papers they are reporting on.Program officers at countless philanthropic foundations spend billions on funding decisions annually, yet they don\u2019t have access to most research articles. Their job is to know where the field is and where it\u2019s going, but paywalls block even them (more discussion here).OA\u00a0helps tools which speed up science.'Only a huge company can get access to full content in the closed system and build a search tool (google scholar).' For example, CiteAb, Bioz, BenchSci are great platforms that\u00a0rely\u00a0on open access to tell us which reagents to trust.\u00a0They help more than a hundred thousands scientists each month\u00a0to figure our which reagents\u00a0are likely to work, based on how many times they are cited in a published paper. Unfortunately,\u00a0these tools can only access a fraction of the literature\u00a0which is OA. How much more powerful would they be if they had access to the entire cannon? How much time would it save scientists?\u00a0The above tools are just examples. Similarly, our\u00a0protocols.io\n\u00a0service is handicapped by subscription publishing. Scientists are\u00a0often asking us if we show papers that cite a given protocol as that is an important signal. Alas, we don\u2019t know when something from\u00a0protocols.io\n\u00a0is cited, unless it is in an open access article. In addition, without OA, we cannot experiment with automatically analyzing method sections to pre-populate\u00a0protocols.io\u00a0and let the papers\u2019 authors then turn these easily into formal protocols.\u00a0I am always wondering:\u00a0which tools and services do not exist today because we are mostly publishing in paywalled journals? How many tools are weaker due to this? How much more efficient would our medicine, research, policy-making, and grant-funding be if the people who needed access had it? Aside from the billions of dollars that we pay to publish, only to have the papers locked up behind paywalls, what is the full cost of subscriptions to science and society?---Part III. Researchers prefer subscription publishingEditorial: "Open access publishing is indeed growing. In 2016, nearly 19% of all articles were made immediately available at the time of publication either in open access journals (15%) or in subscription journals with an option for the author to pay a fee to make an individual article open access (\u201chybrid\u201d journals).7 But these percentages also indicate that 17 years after the BOAI, the majority of scientists still prefer to submit their work to subscription journals."Sigh. How subscription publishers love to peddle this line. \u201cWe have open access journals, but our authors prefer to publish in subscription ones, so scientists don\u2019t want OA.\u201d Nope. You\u2019re not giving scientists a true choice. Different journals. Moreover, today, because our society pays to read, there is an illusion to submitting authors that publishing is free. If you want to measure whether researchers prefer subscription or open access, ask them on submission to the same journal, \u201cWould you like your article to be published for free in our journal and be open access or closed to readers?\u201d Alternatively, just ask researchers whether they want open access. I asked specifically about funders mandating open access:Another variant of this is publishers surveying their authors and then misleadingly presenting results to say that authors don\u2019t care about open access. It\u2019s a trick that works like this:Conclusion: Oh no! Parents don\u2019t want to have a relationship with their kids and want them to be broke.------------------------My timer is ringing. I\u2019ll stop here. The end of the editorial:"eliminating subscription-based publication models without having alternatives in place that can reliably produce independently vetted, cautiously presented, high-quality content might have serious unintended consequences for the integrity of the scientific literature."No open access advocate is proposing that. We've had reliable alternatives in place for almost two decades now. This editorial is a classic piece of FUD (fear, uncertainty, and doubt) that I have been seeing more and more of from subscription publishers as they panic about Plan S. NEJM should be ashamed for publishing this, but given their view of good researchers as \u201cparasites\u201d, I\u2019m not surprised that they did.