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The science paywall

  1. May 11, 2013 #1
    Interesting piece, what do you think?

    http://blog.priceonomics.com/post/50096804256/why-is-science-behind-a-paywall
     
  2. jcsd
  3. May 11, 2013 #2
    And don't forget, if you want to publish, you have to pay as well. It occurs to me that there is some tension with the freedom of information act. Basically, what the government has funded, should be available to its taxpayers.

    The current work around is that scholar google mentions in the right column where the papers can be found outside the paywalls like this.
     
  4. May 11, 2013 #3
    I agree. I never understood why it isn't openly available. Apart from more applied or pharmaceutical sciences where stuff may get patented or stolen for financial gain, I don't see how leaving much fundamental research out there would pose a problem nor why it requires so much money to publish on online journals.

    I know a phd graduate who did much of thesis work on his own time without access to academic journals at his workplace(he was an untraditional student, unfunded and did theory). He often had to hassle his advisers to get his hands on articles.

    I presume there are a lot of other people out there with no academic affiliation that actually have the time to read papers and possibly work on something, but can't afford the fees. All the researchers I have known have always been willing to email their articles upon request, so there's always that avenue.
     
  5. May 11, 2013 #4
    It happens occasionally.
     
  6. May 11, 2013 #5

    fluidistic

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    I've found out several papers that are supposed not to be free (for example http://prl.aps.org/abstract/PRL/v89/i5/e050601) but that anyone can find in google. Just put the exact title of the article and add "pdf" in google.
    I've been able to find all the papers I was looking for so far, though they weren't many at all.
     
  7. May 11, 2013 #6
    There's always the ArXiv too for the preprint/rough version (often unchanged, IME) of articles that have been accepted at big name journals like ApJ, A&A and PRL, but I haven't always found what I'm looking for (I used to use the arxiv search as a pre-search engine to take me to the official paper at Harvard ADS, until I discovered the ADS search plugin for firefox) it and of course you may be missing on modifications to the printed version.
     
  8. May 11, 2013 #7

    AlephZero

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    No problem, in the (large) company I work for. It runs a library (an actual physical one full of real paper documents!) with a professional librarian on the company payroll. It makes financial sense to centralize subscriptions for all types of information, not just scientific journals, rather than having individual compay departments donig their own thing from their own budgets and maybe duplicating each other, or buying less-than-top-quality information because they didn't know any better.

    The "actually have the time to read papers and possibly work on something" is a bit patronizing - I spend a few hours a week browsing several journals, and usually find at least one paper that's worth copying to study in detail. of course the "real work" is making relatively throwaway comments from several different sources add up to more than the sum of their parts...
     
  9. May 11, 2013 #8
    I don't see how it is patronizing...

    I'm just saying there must be a ton of educated and very capable people out there who have the time and desire to study journal articles and potentially produce something publishable, but who lack the means to get their hands on them.

    As opposed to someone who is absorbed in a totally different line of work and can't realistically spend much time staying up to date on a research field.

    I wasn't talking about crackpots, in case it came off that way.
     
  10. May 11, 2013 #9

    Ygggdrasil

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    Publications resulting from research funded by the US National Institutes of Health are required to be made freely available to the public no less than 1 year after publication in a journal. These publications are available in the PubMed Central database.
     
  11. May 11, 2013 #10
    I do not see any problem in my field (particle physics). I check arXiv every morning. If I know the name, I will read it. If I do not know the name, it is unlikely I will read it. If the published version differs form the original on arXiv, the arXiv paper is updated. If I missed out on something, it is very easy to catch up from other publications/colleagues/next conference. I think if another discipline is not yet doing this, they are late in their organisation. Am I missing something ?
     
  12. May 12, 2013 #11

    Monique

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    One can publish in open-access journals or make an article open access by paying extra money, those options exist.
     
  13. May 13, 2013 #12

    George Jones

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    Because of something that came up on today on Physics Forums, I want to look at a particular 1995 article. The article has been cited fairly often, and is not on the arXiv. My university's license for this particular journal starts in 1999.
     
  14. May 13, 2013 #13

    Evo

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    Is there an option to buy the article? Ones I've been interested in usually cost around $35.
     
  15. Feb 28, 2014 #14

    George Jones

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    Does anyone know why I wanted to look at this article?

    I finally got around to getting this article through interlibray loan, but now I forget the details of why i wanted it! Presumably something to do with

    but there was more to it than this. I wanted to calculate other specific things. What were they?! argh!
     
  16. Feb 28, 2014 #15

    lisab

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    Oh dear. I don't know whether to laugh or cry!
     
  17. Feb 28, 2014 #16

    Evo

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    I feel the same. Poor George!
     
  18. Mar 3, 2014 #17
    There's something called the Berlin Declaration on Open Access. I don't know how funding agencies in the US do it, but in EU it's common that they have signed this declaration, which means that everyone who receives money from them commit to publishing all their related work on open access. The simplest way of fulfilling that part of the contract is of course to also put everything up on arXiv, but that at least means that everything will be available there openly to the public.
     
  19. Jul 8, 2014 #18

    George Jones

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    In May 2013 I posted
    In February 2014, I posted
    I want to look at this article for a thread in which I am posting today.

    Does know anyone know where I put the article?
     
  20. Jul 8, 2014 #19

    lisab

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    :rofl:

    I think it's in the magazine rack in the bathroom.
     
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