The Open Access Irony Awards
Recently under the US government shutdown many scientists discovered for the first time what it is like to be cut off from science, but for others not having direct access to all the resources they require is the norm. Once upon a time, physical hard copies of academic work were so precious they were chained to their shelves. Long ago we moved on from the days when every text had to be written by hand - and consequently could have the value of many years average salary. We have moved on from the days of the printing press and the major real costs of publishing on paper. Profits of academic publishers have soared as their outgoings have diminished, yet the ivory tower publishers still charge extortionate rates to members of the public or academics in the third world or second rate institutions who want to access science.This is a bizarre situation because scientific research is created by scientists employed by academic institutions or funded by government grants. The papers are then typically reviewed and edited by academics working for free, leaving little more than typesetting for the publisher, who then takes full ownership of the copyright and locks up the paper before promptly selling it straight back to the very same scientists and institutions who created it for free in the first place, not to mention the public who pay for government funded research through taxes.
Update 21/10/13: Since the screenshots were posted to the Open Access Irony Award group it seems some of the paywalls have been removed. I received a message from the editor of Genome Biology, who stated that a paper in question "has *always* been Open Access", I can only presume a glitch in their system caused a paywall to appear at some point. I've modified the original image in order to only display below paywalls that are still in force.
For a critical whistlestop one page crash course on open access, check out the open access week info sheet:
Why not print it off and put it on your library/lab noticeboard? Find more open access week resources here. Follow the goings on of open access week on Twitter under the following hashtags: #OAWeek #OAweek13. Use the #OA hashtag all year round.
More from me on open access:
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- Join Big Think Edge today and learn how to achieve more confidence when and where it really matters.
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- It is quite possible to make a very good decision that, due to external factors, results in a bad outcome.
Decide to Play Great Poker: A Strategy Guide to No-Limit Texas Hold '’Em
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- She's suing the school for $3 million as well as getting her job back, citing gender discrimination.
If you're lacking confidence and feel like you could benefit from an ego boost, try writing your life story.
In truth, so much of what happens to us in life is random – we are pawns at the mercy of Lady Luck. To take ownership of our experiences and exert a feeling of control over our future, we tell stories about ourselves that weave meaning and continuity into our personal identity.
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