Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Open access to research journals

(Source: http://www.tdl.org/2010/02/open-journal-systems-and-academic-freedom/)
Academic publishing is a strange business: Researchers do not get paid by journals for their work, and neither do reviewers or editors. However, people (and libraries) interested in reading the journal need to pay exorbitant fees to access the articles. Without a full subscription, a single article can cost well over $30 (all written, reviewed, and edited by people for free). In addition, university research is mostly funded by tax money, as is the money used by public libraries to pay for access to articles written by the same researchers.

A current boycott of over 8,000 researchers of one of the largest academic publishers, Elsevier, aims to expose and change their agressive business practices (See The Cost of Knowledge).

It is in the very nature of academic knowledge that it should be widely accessible. More and more researchers are looking into alternatives, for example by making their articles available for free on their own websites, or by publishing in Open Access journals (see Directory of Open Access Journals or Public Library of Science (PLoS) journals).

Read more about Open Access of academic journals here.

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