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How did academic publishers acquire these feudal powers?
by rk 624 days ago · link
Yeah. It can be annoying when you're doing research and then you hit a paywall. The exorbitant fees all but guarantee that individuals won't have access. You have to have affiliations with universities or other monied organizations.
I wish citing a paper is as easy as using apt in Ubuntu or importing a module in Python. We need an open access journal. Open source too. Where the papers and their associated datasets are hosted as well. That way we can just fork them if we think of something more interesting to do with the original research.
by mk 624 days ago · link
As a researcher, I often find that my institution doesn't have access to an article I'd like to read. Consider what that means: My own research can't be informed by previous research because of one of these paywalls. It impedes progress, and probably results in a lot of redundant work.
Thankfully the NIH is instituting policies that any research performed with NIH funds must become open within a certain amount of time (I believe it is several months).
That said, I think these paywalls will fall in time. If other authors cannot read my work, they won't cite my work. Getting your work cited is an important component of a scientific career. It's very advantageous to get published in a journal like Nature, which every institution carries. However, at least to me, middle level paywall journals are becoming much less attractive when compared to http://www.plosone.org.
by scientifics 624 days ago · link
The author totally hit the topic perfectly! As a scientist I wish there could be more freedom of information. I was actually told by my librarian (at my big research university) that they pay over $1 million per year just for access to the ACS journals.
by cgod 623 days ago · link
I've said to people that if I were Bill Gates rich and was looking for a good way to spend some money, I'd pay journals in my area of philanthropic interest to go free online. Every one I've suggested the idea too said it was stupid and would make no real difference, I think that it might spur innovation to a significant extent.
I was doing a Cost Benefit Analysis project for a local non-profit that had a few working economist in their research department. When I presented by work they were mildly interested in my results, but had a ton of questions about my source material, which were mostly academic papers that a mid size non-profit couldn't hope to buy access to. The fact that there were reams of pertinent papers on energy economics which working energy economists had no ability to read seemed a horrible waste of research and dollars.
by squeebies 623 days ago · link
Can anything be done by us, the people, to break the monopoly. What's being done now? This seems like a major problem experienced by the few at the detriment to the many. In the very least information sharing of medical research would justify government intervention.
As is always the case for policy change, it would require lots of people arguing the case to the relevant government agency, as money is more important these than the general good.
by gq 623 days ago · link
Not to mention that when you publish a paper, you or the institution also need to pay the journal for certain publication fee, generally more pics a paper contains, more expensive it is to publish.