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Walker and Holt had become dissatisfied with traditional academic journal publishing. They regarded the publishers of scientific journals as essentially parasites, making money out of something that they contributed little to themselves. Their case was that academics did the research work, wrote the papers, peer-reviewed the papers of others, all for which the publishers paid the academics nothing. Another objection was that academics were compelled to go to profit-making organisations in order to get their work published, even though they were effectively public servants, because government paid their salaries and funded their research. They believed that the underlying problem was that publishing companies held the copyright over the work submitted by researchers, thus their solution was to leave the content under the control of the researcher.
Walker and Holt were also critical of the closed nature of scientific publishing, which they believed led to peer reviews that were simply wrong or motivated by personal feelings towards the author. Their solution was to publish the reviews of papers along with the papers themselves.