Academic journals should not have paywalls. Academic publishing is done for many reasons, but high among those should be the desire to share ideas in the “commons” of information so others can both learn from and build on those ideas. Forcing others to PAY to simply read your ideas when they are formally published in an academic journal is antithetical to the basic ideals of academic publishing. Unfortunately, we see a number of professional organizations as well as journal publishers ignoring or rejecting this ethic of open sharing and publishing. In his book “Being Digital,” Nicholas Negroponte explains how transformative it is to convert atoms to bits. The marginal cost of sharing bits online is zero. In “Free: The Future of a Radical Price,” Chris Anderson explains not only why many information services today are free, but also why many SHOULD be free. There are times and places for creating artificial scarcity for intellectual property works and charging an access fee. Academic journal publishing should NOT be one of those exceptions to the tendency for bits to be free, however.
The following is an example of an article I wanted to read this past week, but I didn’t because I was unwilling to pay $25 (a ridiculously high fee) to read it.
The Journal of Virtual Worlds Research is an example of an open-access, peer-reviewed journal which does NOT have a paywall of any type. Anyone can view published articles there for free. We need ALL our academic journals to embrace this paradigm of free, electronic publication. Perhaps we need a campaign with website badges which professors can utilize to evangelize this perspective on publishing?
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On this day..
- Backchannel with 5th Graders & Pie Chart Questions on the Winter Olympics - 2014
- Emerging Insights on Learning, Technology, and the Road Ahead in Education - 2013
- Designing Out-of-the-Box College Course Assignments that Students Care About - 2013
- Michael Wesch on Creating Learners which Question and Live in a World of Constant Wonder - 2013
- Open Sharing Leads to eBook Inspiration: Indonesia to Minnesota to Oklahoma - 2013
- @OKCPS Executive Director Information Technology Position Open: Please Apply! - 2012
- Lessons Learned Webcasting with Ustream Producer - 2010
- Creating and Managing Digital Portfolios Using Adobe Acrobat by Allanah King - 2009
- Hooked on Learning by Pam Hook - 2009
- Join the Internet Blackout - Protest Against Guilt Upon Accusation Laws in NZ — Creative Freedom Foundation (creativefreedom.org.nz) - 2009