Publishing is often an expensive business. In the case of scientific publishing, many publishers pass on the costs for their publishing to the end users, which often means that universities are the only ones who can subscribe to these journals. But when even Harvard finds that they need to cut back on their scientific journal subscriptions, there arises a question of access to the new research being done by others in the field.
Wired Magazine addresses this issue in their article, “The Quest to Toppling Science-Stymying Academic Paywalls.” The accessibility of the articles published in scientific journals impacts further research, which can, in turn, impact scientists working toward tenure.
Some proposed options have included making scientific journals open access, allowing authors to use Creative Commons to specify the rights they wish to share, or the publishers charging authors to publish their work in said scientific journals. Obviously more accessibility is preferable, but there’s a fine line to tread regarding copyright and piracy. While the discussion is far from over, it’s an important one for amateur and professional scientists alike to pay close attention to.Follow us online: