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Scientists Fight For Open Access For Research

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Boycott Elsevier

The Chronicle of Higher Education sums up scientists’ concerns about Elsevier:

First there are the prices. Then the company bundles subscriptions to lesser journals together with valuable ones, forcing libraries to spend money to buy things they don’t want in order to get a few things they do want. And, most recently, Elsevier has supported a proposed federal law, the Research Works Act (HR 3699), that could prevent agencies like the National Institutes of Health from making all articles written by grant recipients freely available.

Sean M. Carroll, a prominent cosmologist and senior research associate at the California Institute of Technology, has signed the online pledge; he notes that Elsevier indeed charges “amazingly exorbitant prices to university libraries—and then makes the published papers very hard to access for anyone not at one of the universities.”

In calling for a boycott of Elsevier, researchers  are more than aware that they are the suppliers of content to the journals. Without scientific research, you can’t really have a scientific journal.

Scientists are attempting to publish without the likes of Elsevier and other private-sector publishers at sites including F1000 research and the arXiv, at which physicists and mathematicians can post work in progress. Such “instant publishing” is still in its infancy as a valid, and validated, venue for scientific research.

But I commend these researchers’ intentions and efforts. I’m an academic at a small, chronically under-funded urban college. We don’t have access to a number of publications because the subscription costs are just too high. My college is not a research institution but the more research that is available via open access, the more our students — the more that anyone — can benefit.


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6:07PM PDT on Jul 5, 2012

Like Michael R., after reading the comments, I feel like a candle has been lit. Lets hope the tide has turned. The results of publicly funded research must be open to the public, and not only in the "corrected", probaganda-ised form issued by the IPCC and other New World Order bodies.

1:10PM PST on Feb 7, 2012

This administration has returned to grounding policy based on science rather than political myths and other foundations; thus those who prefer myths want to keep the scientific results from becoming known to be used for such policies--really scary stuff.

11:18AM PST on Feb 3, 2012

Thanks for the information: some very good points were made here. I'm happy to have received this article in the same e-mail as the one on pseudoscience: how can we assess issues intelligently if accurate scientific information is held hostage by high fees and, now, potential federal legislation? Those promoting pseudoscience are more than happy to monopolize the mass media.

3:12PM PST on Feb 2, 2012

Car thief-turned-Congressman Darrell Issa is, and always has been, for sale. That in itself should tell you the reason for limiting access through HR 3699. How arrogant, anyway, to tell the populace to pay for a book to be written, but deny them the right to read the book.

11:59AM PST on Feb 2, 2012

Another article in defense of the "reality based community" today. On a form that all to often caters to the mythologies of the left. It's as if someone lit a candle and the world isn't quite so dark.

11:48AM PST on Feb 2, 2012

More bullying by the GOP.

9:49AM PST on Feb 2, 2012

We've had thousands of years of open access and it has worked for the good of humankind. Now we get some power freaks who think it is necessary to put a price tag on everything and keep information hostage of whoever wants to make the more money possible for its access. I say run them out of Congress: they haven't understood that they've been elected to serve us the nation, not the corporations which keep them at the trough

8:56AM PST on Feb 2, 2012

Instead of trying to pass a piece of road apple like HR3699 and restrict or censor, we should build something positive. The Open Access movement combined with a simple royalty system allowing people to pay how much they think it's worth to support the original authors would be far more acceptable than HR3699, ACTA, OPEN, SOPA, or PIPA; we should also abolish DMCA.

8:19AM PST on Feb 2, 2012

As long as their experimentation is not on animals OR the stupid myth of Global warming, Then I could care less other than using our tax dollars to do so. If they feel their research is that important , then let them pool their resources as there are many experimentations that are a waste of tax payers dollars, including the fact that we have no say so ultimately on what is utilized experimentally.

7:38AM PST on Feb 2, 2012

They think someone will run with the information and get paid for what they is a money thing. They think someone will add or subtract from what is published, make it their own and make some money off of it...GREED is the final deduction. IT ALWAYS COMES DOWN TO GREED!

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