“Should All Research Papers Be Free?”

This is not a new debate, but here is another take on the issue from the NY Times: Should All Research Papers Be Free?

… a graduate student from Kazakhstan named Alexandra Elbakyan is believed to be hiding out in Russia after illegally leaking millions of documents. While she didn’t reveal state secrets, she took a stand for the public’s right to know by providing free online access to just about every scientific paper ever published, on topics ranging from acoustics to zymology.

Her protest against scholarly journals’ paywalls has earned her rock-star status among advocates for open access, and has shined a light on how scientific findings that could inform personal and public policy decisions on matters as consequential as health care, economics and the environment are often prohibitively expensive to read and impossible to aggregate and datamine.

Direct Link to her Sci-hub website.

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Personal note: having been both an editor of a professional journal and an article author, I can seem valid points on both sides of the argument.  There are indeed costs of reviewing and editing journal articles.  But the journal editors are not the ones making the big bucks, it is the publishers.

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