We have a problem
Our governments spend billions on funding research. But most people don’t have access to it — including the taxpayers who ultimately funded the research.
Scholars, mostly funded by government money or charities, do the research. They 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.
“So what?”, you might ask. “I don’t want to read research papers.”
But don’t you want your doctor to read them? How about your children’s teachers? Your elected representatives?
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. When publishers lock away the results of research, it hurts us all.
On this site, we’ll talk to people in all walks of life who need access to research but can’t get it because of restrictive publishing practices. Here are some of the people we’ll be talking to:
- Research organizations
- Small businesses
- People working with the developing world
- Doctors and dentists [offsite link]
- Consumer organizations
- Patient groups
- Amateur palaeontologists, astronomers and ornithologists [offsite link]
- Wikipedia contributors
- Unaffiliated scholars working into their retirement [offsite link]
- Enterprising schoolchildren [offsite link]
- Professional researchers
- Independent researchers
New interviews will appear in the “Recent Posts” area on the right. Or you can look up different categories.