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Author: Subject: Should Knowledge Be Free?
symboom
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[*] posted on 25-10-2020 at 23:08
Should Knowledge Be Free?


https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=PriwCi6SzLo

Should academic research be behind paywalls? Researchers and peer reviewers earn nothing for their work, and yet academic publishers boast enormous profit margins every year from subscription fees to journals. Especially during a global pandemic, is it right for scientific research to be pay-to-read?




[Edited on 26-10-2020 by symboom]




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[*] posted on 26-10-2020 at 00:03


If the public purse has paid for the research, even a small amount, then the research needs to be public. If they don't want it to be open source then pay for the research in house and patent the idea rather than publish.
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[*] posted on 26-10-2020 at 00:07


I agree. I don't see why I should pay for academic research papers written in my country where academic centres are funded from taxes which I pay.

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[*] posted on 26-10-2020 at 00:32


Publishing in an open access journal is usually expensive compared to not open access. If you want all research to be open access you have to start with the parties that fund the research, as a professor may very well choose to publish behind a paywall if that means he can buy some nice goodies with the money he saves. Especially if he knows all his colleagues have access to that journal anyway.

Edit: You probably have to change the whole system, if a professor can choose between a lower impact factor and higher impact factor for a couple thousand euro he will go for the higher one. All scientists are judged by the journal they publish in.

[Edited on 26-10-2020 by Tsjerk]
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[*] posted on 26-10-2020 at 06:20


As long as the Sci-Hub works and is kept well fed, I can look the other way.

But generally, any research that's paid by tax money, must be public domain.
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[*] posted on 26-10-2020 at 06:45


Tsjerk I feel like open access journals being expensive to publish with is part of the problem though. In my opinion there shouldn't be a paywall in either direction.
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[*] posted on 26-10-2020 at 07:04


Quote: Originally posted by njl  
Tsjerk I feel like open access journals being expensive to publish with is part of the problem though. In my opinion there shouldn't be a paywall in either direction.


Then how do you suggest the costs made to be covered?
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[*] posted on 26-10-2020 at 07:16


I am not well-versed in this topic and I'm not going to suggest some idealist plan, I just think that if you have something useful to share with the world you should be able to share it. If it's not actually useful then the community will ignore it, and if it is useful then great, your knowledge/work can be applied. To be clear you could still have some recognition for your contribution.

To answer your question I am ok with public funding for research as well as private research. To me, no matter how you uncover something I think it should be shared. Someone who works for a giant corporation might have a different view, and for now that's ok.
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[*] posted on 26-10-2020 at 08:34


.....i have always felt that access to information should be free to anyone interested in learning and furthering their knowledge ....and not to the privileged and excluding those with limited entry to the vast amount of information available.....hence, for the past 18 years i have tried to provide the information requested in many of the forums i participate....and now thanks to Sci Hub much of the requested information can be found freely on the net.....solo



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[*] posted on 26-10-2020 at 10:23


I hate paywalls, Sci-Hub is my best friend, even most of my uni professors use it when the chemistry department doesn't have a subscription for a particular journal, heck my thesis was done 90% from articles took from sci-hub.
I think many professors/researchers don't care much if their work is under a paywall or not, they are more interested on how important the journal is, and sadly most of the major journals have paywalls.

I simply think that journals are not used to common people browsing their archives, they expect researchers, students, professors, and they are not paying for their own subscription, the university/organization is.

I get that they need to make money somehow, but maybe they could set lower prices so more "common" people buy in.
I mean never in my life i would pay €70 to read an article that might be shit anyway, but if a subscription was like $5
a month, pretty much everyone would be able to afford it.
But as it has been already said, this would require a big change in perspective inside journals and in the scientific world in general, and this won't happen because a bunch of nerds want to read articles for free. We are the odd guy, the one in ten thousands, sadly our opinions don't hold much weight, so probably nothing will change.

Use sci-hub in the mean time, if more and more people use it maybe journals will try a different marketing strategy that doesn't involve shutting down that website every 2 weeks just to find a clone somewhere else the minute after





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[*] posted on 26-10-2020 at 10:43


I suppose we need a database that is hosted similar to blockchain, so it cannot be taken down or monitored because it is hosted by a large number of hosts. Dream or a possibility?
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[*] posted on 26-10-2020 at 10:49


There may be a political facet to it... looking at a heatmap for Sci-Hub usage world wide, Iran is a pretty big user. I wouldn't be surprised if publishers are prevented from allowing Iranian institutions access... and perhaps others targeted with sanctions. Great research coming from Iranian researchers by the way.

I've seen an article or two about how each institution's library has to negotiate prices with publishers, and per contract are not allowed to disclose what they paid with other institutions. Thus publishers have reign to ask for what they think each institution, and the student body via student fees, are able to pay. Harvard scoffed at such practices.

[Edited on 26-10-2020 by andy1988]




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[*] posted on 26-10-2020 at 10:52


Quote: Originally posted by Fyndium  
I suppose we need a database that is hosted similar to blockchain, so it cannot be taken down or monitored because it is hosted by a large number of hosts. Dream or a possibility?


i would say dream, the bitcoin blockchain is already pretty heavy, and each transaction is just a line of text. Each member of the chain would need to host several terabytes of articles, plus being illegal we would simply all go to jail i think.

we could make a smaller private database maybe, downloading from scihub all the articles from 1 journal, or all the articles about the same generic topic, kinda like downloading a whole wikipedia category. Hosting it would be a nono on the web, but on the Thor network it is safer





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[*] posted on 26-10-2020 at 11:00


I feel that paywalls slow down economic and scientific progress many patents are built on the work of those research articles. If the government paid in grants for the research only to have a company profit of that work being published I feel like In a way it is stealing intellectual property of that government.
So are paywalls theft?



[Edited on 26-10-2020 by symboom]
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[*] posted on 26-10-2020 at 11:22


Quote: Originally posted by symboom  
I feel that paywalls slow down economic and scientific progress many patents are built on the work of those research articles. If the government paid in grants for the research only to have a company profit of that work being published I feel like In a way it is stealing intellectual property of that government.
So are paywalls theft?



[Edited on 26-10-2020 by symboom]


i don't think it is theft, the gov is paying the researcher, but it is not paying for the platform where this info is being diffused. Before internet journals were literally shipped to users, so people paid a subscription like for any magazine (you need to pay for shipping, for the paper, the ink, the worker making the pages, etc).

so i don't think they are stealing since they are still offering a service, hosting and organizing each article, but what i would consider stealing is asking a shit ton of money to access that material. Imagine if to watch a youtube video you had to pay €50....





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[*] posted on 26-10-2020 at 12:31


Quote: Originally posted by njl  
I am not well-versed in this topic and I'm not going to suggest some idealist plan, I just think that if you have something useful to share with the world you should be able to share it. If it's not actually useful then the community will ignore it, and if it is useful then great, your knowledge/work can be applied. To be clear you could still have some recognition for your contribution.

To answer your question I am ok with public funding for research as well as private research. To me, no matter how you uncover something I think it should be shared. Someone who works for a giant corporation might have a different view, and for now that's ok.

THIS, I use sci-hub when ever I need to read a paper. I can normally justify certain forms of piracy, but sci-hub is positively righteous!




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[*] posted on 26-10-2020 at 22:51


For the interest, are articles over the world usually published by the native language of the authors, or are they also referred in english?

I sometimes wonder that there can be an ocean of information, but it's all written in terms I at first can't read without going through a translator, but more over, they do not show up in search results because of the language.
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[*] posted on 27-10-2020 at 00:30


Most literature is written in English, I know there are for example some German and French journals, but I don't know how much of that is not available in English somewhere else. I believe even those journals now require an English translation on the side.

In modern natural sciences I wouldn't worry too much about not being able to find things because of language. If you are interested in very old stuff, German can sometimes be handy. But at least it is ten times better than when you for example study archaeology and the few sources you could write your thesis on are books written in 100 year old German and French for example. I saw a friend of mine struggling with that once... but most chemistry is English.

[Edited on 27-10-2020 by Tsjerk]
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[*] posted on 27-10-2020 at 02:34


Old chemistry articles can be really interesting for the amateur, because lack of all the sophisticated and astronomically expensive and complicated tools in modern labs made them use rudimentary methods in reach of amateur.

I also found that some forensic journals can be interesting, because they depict methods more common for amateur reagent sourcing, for example one article tested the efficiency of common detergents as an oxidizer and they optimized very good results by just using directly the impure product. These can provide excellent shortcuts since reagents in pure form are neither not available at all or come at very high price compared to their role, meanwhile the substitute can be sold at local grocery store for few bucks a pound. In professional lab, especially in research where the price tag doesn't matter at all, it is easy just to order everything ready in acs grade.
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[*] posted on 27-10-2020 at 04:51


Perhaps paywall should expire after some years like patents.

Patents themselves were made to stimulate research and innovation.




I'm French so excuse my language
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[*] posted on 27-10-2020 at 08:20


Quote: Originally posted by solo  
.....i have always felt that access to information should be free to anyone interested in learning and furthering their knowledge ....and not to the privileged and excluding those with limited entry to the vast amount of information available.....hence, for the past 18 years i have tried to provide the information requested in many of the forums i participate....and now thanks to Sci Hub much of the requested information can be found freely on the net.....solo


ABSOLUTELY agree, and Thank You, in your several incarnations, for doing this.




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[*] posted on 27-10-2020 at 16:07


hello guys, first post here, i've been browsing the forum several years ago, the idea of ​​the periodic publication journal brough my attention and im planning on being more active user.

about the topic, here is my opinion: information is invaluable (financially, it cannot cost anything), there are some tools that rely on the "perfect information value" to support certain decisions but those are specific cases.

I think that the matter of concern of sci hub is about the copyrigth. because the cost of the article is being covered by the one who shares the article but the LICENSE doesnt permit sharing whitout the author conscent... is the same problem as whith physical books, before pdf's and web sites, make a copy of a book was prohibited.
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