Academic journals

Quick point on the state of scientific research and “pay walls”. I am a physics researcher, I’ve published many papers and written a book. It really annoys me how the journals work and how the system is just stacked against both the content creator and content consumer.

When you said “I could access the paper if I googled the title” what you are most likely accessing is a pre-print (arxiv?). Whilst this is good and useful, they cannot really be relied upon, they are the pre-edited, pre-pear reviewed versions.

When I publish research I,

Have to pay to publish
Have to pay extra to publish in color (wtf)
Give up my rights to use the images in other presentations or publications
Give up my ownership of and rights to the material
Earn no revenue from sales
Give the right for Ads to be placed inside my paper
Earn no revenue from Ads

Luckily in the UK its now law that any research supported with government money (99% of physics) has to be published open access. Which is nice but needs to propagate around the world much faster, this also only address one of the above points, although it may be argued to be the most important. is brilliant.


Really? That’s great! Is there a reference for that somewhere? I didn’t know this.

Also there is a very strong push to make researchers also publish their actual data, open access in an open and readable format. i.e. if you look at a recent publication (
and scroll to the bottom you can often find a little paragraph that reads
"Data availability
The data associated with the paper are openly available from the Mendeley Data Repository at: "

This is pushed forward by academic grades (a university or researches rank 4 star etc etc) ONLY taking into account research that is published in an open access format.


That sounds, at best, annoyingly tedious. I would find it greatly aggravating. I admire that you keep going!

Typically academics will put up with a lot and because they are focused on the fact that someone is letting/paying them (to) research :D.

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Thoughts on this? On the one hand, seems to be a site on which almost all academic papers are available, without paywall. On the other, it’s currently unreachable without custom DNS settings and it keeps losing lawsuits. Afaict it’s essentially Scientific Academic Napster.

I really like it, and support the idea, the current system is just so messed up.

I do struggle to get on it more than I used to which is annoying, but it does seam to be the way of the internet at the moment. Stuff that’s “illegal” is getting harder to access all round. I think its easy to understand why Aaron Swartz felt how he felt and did what he did when you actually need to use Academic Journals on a daily basis.

The people I feel most sorry for are researchers from small Universities or Universities in countries that do not have loads and loads of money. £30 per journal read or thousands of £’s for subscriptions really does limit people. I often moan about people being stupid, but tbh maybe the lack of free information is half to blame



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