Author Topic: Should science be free?  (Read 4087 times)

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Offline fergo

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Should science be free?
« on: January 03, 2012, 07:40:41 AM »
I am a fan and supporter of Wikileaks' broad aims, and I believe overall transparency leads to better practices and less corruption. I have often been frustrated in my pursuit of knowledge by virtual 'scientific journal' pay walls requiring substantial fees to read published scientific papers. I have considered the various aspects of this situation, that journals act as quality review filter of literature and deserve reparation. However the majority are aimed at institutions that can buy bulk access rights, leaving the individual scholar to cough up $40- $250 per .pdf file! Should society be turning away those seeking knowledge when the trend is heading in the other direction? Sure, some knowledge such as how to refine deadlier viruses- it may not be in the public interest for all to access.  However many, if not most areas of science are beneficial for mankind to share. I personally have an interest in water science, geomorphology/erosion control and river management- and think if papers on the best methods (for e.g.: stabilisation of water table using long-stemmed tubestock) were easily & cheaply/freely accessible, then it could only help spread best practises. I realise there are several sites digitising books and making them accessible, and I applaud the release of the Congressional Research Reports, I only wish to raise the issue for discussion. Is there any interest in this issue, or do you think its no problem?
Please advise me on this thread if you have a preferred method(s) or sites for accessing information you would like to suggest. 
Many thanks in advance.

Offline Folklorin

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Re: Should science be free?
« Reply #1 on: January 03, 2012, 14:26:51 PM »
Oh interesting
Which scientific area interests u?
I think I could help u! :police:
Schooleaks -- we are opening education.

Offline officegunner

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Re: Should science be free?
« Reply #2 on: January 03, 2012, 17:29:25 PM »
in my point of view everything should be free, even passwords(hv to rethink the idea though), cause the world turns into a better place there are no secrets. You see some people are ashamed of themselves if their secrets are revealed. If there is not a single evil secret in the world, it'd go forward not backwards.

Offline Folklorin

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Re: Should science be free?
« Reply #3 on: January 03, 2012, 22:54:46 PM »
About passwords it is too strong ???
Yeah but I think that the world shall be more opened
And about passwords, if u destroy them we will have anarchy
Schooleaks -- we are opening education.

Offline malgosia

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Re: Should science be free?
« Reply #4 on: January 09, 2012, 20:15:18 PM »
Your question is very good. In so many cases access to scientific informations depend upon the money. It is real problem in many countries . I'm interesting in public health and technology assesment.

Offline sushi

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Re: Should science be free?
« Reply #5 on: March 06, 2012, 06:50:15 AM »

I don't know how much helpful this will be, but there are some people with access to Web of Science who've volunteered to provide research articles to Wikipedians. Check :

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Category:Wikipedians_who_have_access_to_Web_of_Science

Until someone else finishes what Aaron Swartz allegedly set out to do (en.wikipedia.org›wiki/Aaron_Swartz), I guess the best way to acess scientific literature will be through a personal network. Although there are social networks for researchers ( Mendeley, Researcherid) I doubt the general public can just drop into those and ask researcher/s. There needs to be an Independent network of people interested in providing each other access to scientific literature. There is some heartburn in the scientific community as well regarding publishers' attitudes ( as evidenced by this worldwide boycott of Elsevier).

http://chronicle.com/blogs/wiredcampus/elsevier-publishing-boycott-gathers-steam-among-academics/35216

So this is might be the right time to organize an independent network (preferably with anonymity) for literature access.