One frustrating thing about running this blog is that, while I may have access to the full text of any research article that I present to you, that doesn’t mean that all of my readers do. I work at a university, and one of the perks is having access to a large number of academic journals online, meaning that I can carefully read the full length of any study I want to discuss, rather than just a summary (the abstract). I imagine that some of my readers may have found that when I link to an article, they can only see the abstract instead of all of the details. This makes it hard for me to ask you to join in on the discussion of the article.
I understand why journals need to limit the accessibility of their full text to paying customers, because I know that they need to make money to cover their publishing costs. But I wish it didn’t have to be that way.
However, today I read an article on The Conversation that reports that the Australian Research Council (ARC) is has made it mandatory that any journal articles resulting from research they have funded (which is a huge portion of research in Australia), need to be open-access. This means that everyone will be able to read the reports within 12 months of their publication. You can read the ARC’s open-access announcement here.
What do you guys think about this? I think it’s ultimately a good thing because I think that everyone should have access to research. But who will pay for it? The article in The Conversation revealed that scholarly publishing companies have some of the biggest operating profits in the world, even above Apple. Another question: how will this policy be regulated when many of the articles have been published in journals that are based overseas? Let me hear your thoughts.