The academic boycott of Elsevier, 900-lb gorilla of the academic journal world, is growing:|
Seem dramatic? Well, here?s a little test. Go to any of the top academic journals in the world and try to read an article. The full article, mind you?not just the abstract or the first few paragraphs. Hit a paywall? Try an article written 20 or 30 years ago in an obscure journal. Just look up something on PubMed then head to JSTOR where a vast archive of journals have been digitized for reference. Denied? Not interested in paying $40 to the publisher to rent the article for a few days or purchase it for hundreds of dollars either? You?ve just logged one of the over 150 million failed attempts per year to access an article on JSTOR. Now consider the fact that the majority of scientific articles in the U.S., for example, has been funded by government-funded agencies, such as the National Science Foundation, NIH, Department of Defense, Department of Energy, NASA, and so on. So while taxpayer money has fueled this research, publishers charge anyone who wants to actually see the results for themselves, including the authors of the articles.Shockingly, this is common even if you're a student or staff at a university and your university library's paid for journal access. It'd be nice to see the tide turn a bit, and more journals reach open access for the world.