Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Who Need Access? You Need Access!

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Our governments spend millions on funding research. Scientists do the work, write up their results as papers, format the manuscripts, prepare figures, and send them to publishers. Other scientists handle editing for the publishers (unpaid). Yet other scientists review the manuscripts for the editor (also unpaid). The result of all this is a honed and polished research paper. But all too often the publisher demands the copyright, and locks the research behind a paywall. (Needless to say, they don’t pay the author, either.)

The result is that the taxpayers who funded the research don’t have access to it.

“So what?”, you might ask. “I don’t want to read research papers.” [..] The reality is that there are many groups that want and need access to the research that they and you funded. Public access to scientific research makes all our lives better: it makes us healthier, better governed and better educated; it lets us live in a cleaner environment, a more civilised society and a healthier economy.

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