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Open access #OverlyHonestMethods and the broken publishing system

I’m not going to be the one to solve the broken publishing system (though I do try really hard to make all of my research publicly available – Redalyc is a great help in that regard, since everything I have published in Spanish is freely available – Redalyc is the Latin American Network of Scientific Journals (though they also cover Iberoamerica, Spain and Portugal). But in the aftermath of Aaron Swartz’s passing, I can’t help but feel a stronger burning desire to push for open access to research worldwide (at least, to MY research). Swartz was a fervent advocate of open access.

Coincidentally (last week, before Swartz’ passing and the worldwide outpouring of academic sympathy known now as #PDFTribute), I tweeted along the #OverlyHonestMethods – my tweet became one of my most retweeted and favorited, which I think (yes, I know, anecdotal evidence! but bear with me for a second) showcases how many of my colleagues feel that the publishing system is broken.

The number of papers I find online that “seem” relevant (reading the abstract) and that I am unable to judge by their quality is staggering. They are pay-walled. I’m lucky that all the universities where I’ve been a faculty member in the past 6 years (and where I did my Masters and PhD) have had extremely robust online access to databases, but what of other academics, students and the general public who aren’t so lucky?

I don’t want to enter the debate on the economics of publishing and open access per se (my scholarly research is in comparative environmental public policy) but I feel even more encouraged (and a sense of duty) now to publish Open Access even more than I have so far.

overlyhonestmethods open access

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Posted in bridging academia and practice.

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