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Researchers rally for "open science"

Academic publishing is at a crossroads. Traditionally, you submit your research to a publisher (for free) who in turn publishes it in a journal and charges access to it  — quite often at a very high cost (see previous post: Did you know some journals cost as much as a car?). Today, more and more researchers are getting fed up with this system. Advocates for "open science" say that reducing the barriers to sharing research will help advance scientific discovery.

Support for free, unrestricted access to peer-reviewed research is gaining momentum. This is due in part to the revelation that one of the largest publishers, Elsevier, is backing the Research Works Act - a bill introduced in Congress last month that seeks to protect publishers’ rights by essentially restricting access to research. Scientists are pledging by the thousands at The Cost of Knowledge.com to refuse to publish, referee, or do editorial work for Elsevier journals. The movement is garnering increasing attention in the press (e.g. New York Times, Forbes, the Guardian). 

To learn more about open access issues, visit SPARC®, the Scholarly Publishing and Academic Resources Coalition, an international alliance of academic and research libraries working to correct imbalances in the scholarly publishing system.

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