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Do you believe that JStor and other academic gateways are unfairly restricting a

  1. buckleupdorothy profile image82
    buckleupdorothyposted 4 years ago

    Do you believe that JStor and other academic gateways are unfairly restricting access to research?

    Aaron Shwartz's manifesto called for those with access to such resources to liberate and disseminate the information. Much of it was financed with government funds, and as such he believed that the research should be freely available. What do you think? What changes, if any, would you make to academic publishing?

  2. Thomas Swan profile image96
    Thomas Swanposted 4 years ago

    Absolutely. Knowledge should be free. How can we hope to educate the world and advance our civilization when profiteering journals restrict access to research? If government money isn't enough, I would rather they put adverts on their pages than restrict access. However, to my knowledge, journals allow authors to put their work on a personal website. This is what I have done, so my physics papers are at least publicly available to those who make an effort to find them.

  3. Doc Snow profile image97
    Doc Snowposted 4 years ago

    What a great question!

    I don't know if the restrictions are 'unfair' or not--journals serve a purpose, and the work and resources needed to produce them need to be recompensed in some way.

    But the restrictions imposed by high subscription fees, paywalls and so forth certainly do impede the free flow of information in some cases.  At present this is, I think, mostly the case for non-professionals, since most researchers have affiliations with research libraries which bear the subscription costs and, in turn, allow the researchers free access.  Not so the general reader who may wish to know (for example) just what was done in the latest paper describing the effects of climate change on atmospheric blocking events:  will continued warming increase extreme weather or not?  (Though even for the general reader, there may be work-arounds:  often PDF copies circulate quite freely, simply for the asking.  Call it 'Aaron Schwartz lite.')

    But with subscription costs rising, academic budgets shrinking and research libraries making hard choices, one wonders how well the current model will continue to function.

  4. Tricia1000 profile image76
    Tricia1000posted 4 years ago

    Yes I do believe research should be more widely available since peer reviewed academic journals have a limited readership.  The rise of open academic educational resources is thus welcomed.

  5. StephanieBCrosby profile image86
    StephanieBCrosbyposted 4 years ago

    Hmmm. I am not sure how I feel about this.

    In undergrad I used JStor almost exclusively, mainly because that was one of the only databases available and applicable to my major and always found what I needed. Now as a doctoral candidate, it can be frustrating when I see the title of something and I cannot access the source directly and only the abstract. Of course I use the filter of "Full-text only," but at times I want to see everything available.

    I did become extremely frustrated recently because ERIC all but dismantled the site. Many sources remain unavailable because other researchers (and hackers maybe) were able to get personal information about the authors and researchers from data we did not see as the public but was part of the initial publishing process and information.

    So I guess when personal information is not protected, there are times that access needs to be restricted until the issue is resolved are there is a better means to protect private information.

  6. junkseller profile image87
    junksellerposted 4 years ago

    Well, as it is, a significant amount of research is funded with taxpayer dollars. Publishers than take that research, in some cases charging the researcher money to publish their work, and then provide access to that research via very costly subscription fees. It would seem to be a system where the middle man is making out really well and the end users not so well.

    Mostly I think this is just an example of a publishing medium which hasn't yet come to terms with the world we now live in. Most other mediums (e.g music, books, movies, newspaper) have modified and are still modifying their content delivery to better suit our internet world. I spend a fair bit of time looking at scholarly work and always laugh when I see a single 10-page article going for $30 dollars (or even more). It's ludicrous.

    They really need to probably lower prices overall, and find a way to allow access to independent researchers as well as less financially capable institutions (especially in other parts of the world).

    JSTOR has just recently implemented a program called Register and Read. With a registration, it allows a user free read-only access to many of their journals. I think it has a limit of how many you can read per a time period, but still it is at least an example of an attempt to expand access. They also have a relatively new Alumni Access Program but it only includes about 40 institutions so far.