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:
Since the idea of locality is dead, space itself may not be an aloof vacuum: Something welds things together, even at great distances.
- Realists believe that there is an exactly understandable way the world is — one that describes processes independent of our intervention. Anti-realists, however, believe realism is too ambitious — too hard. They believe we pragmatically describe our interactions with nature — not truths that are independent of us.
- In nature, properties of Particle B may be depend on what we choose to measure or manipulate with Particle A, even at great distances.
- In quantum mechanics, there is no explanation for this. "It just comes out that way," says Smolin. Realists struggle with this because it would imply certain things can travel faster than light, which still seems improbable.
E-cigarettes may be safer than traditional cigarettes, but they come with their own risks.
- A new study used an MRI machine to examine how vaping e-cigarettes affects users' cardiovascular systems immediately after inhalation.
- The results showed that vaping causes impaired circulation, stiffer arteries and less oxygen in their blood.
- The new study adds to a growing body of research showing that e-cigarettes – while likely safer than traditional cigarettes – are far from harmless.
The Russian-built FEDOR was launched on a mission to help ISS astronauts.