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View Diary: Aaron Swartz' Death Is Our Legacy (262 comments)

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  •  Wouldn't apply to you (9+ / 0-)

    I actually had a rather illuminating discussion about this with my father the other day. The term 'government-funded' is generally applied to grant-funded research and research done by government-employed scientists as part of their employment. It would apply to most of his work, as he is a scientist at the National Weather Service.

    Turns out he's actually mostly in favour of requiring the results to be made freely available. It actually surprised me, but he explained: taxpayers have already paid multiple times for his research (and other research that would fall under the government-funded umbrella).

    First, the government funds the research itself, either through grants to university researchers or through facilities and salary for government employees and contractors. This differs from your situation because you're being paid to teach; they're being paid to do research.

    Second, the government actually pays to publish the research. When he submits an article to a journal, if it's accepted, he has to pay (or, more accurately, get the NWS to pay) for it to be published. A grant-funded researcher would pay for the publication through a grant.

    Third, government agencies and public schools and universities pay to access the research through journal subscription fees.

    At no point does a government-funded researcher actually make any money off his or her own work through this process. The journals don't pay authors (at least in the sciences). The authors actually pay the journals. Now, they do get some career benefits for publishing, but that's an indirect benefit provided by their employers, not by the journals.

    All of this is, it seems, rather different from your situation. You're not grant-funded (or you'd be an RA, not a TA) and you're doing the sort of dissertation that you might consider publishing privately in a book. You shouldn't have anything to worry about, although you might want to make sure that any proposed legislation is clear about what kinds of government funding it applies to.

    "Let’s just move on, treat everybody with firmness, fairness, dignity, compassion and respect. Let’s be Marines." - Sgt. Maj Michael Barrett on DADT repeal

    by kyril on Sat Jan 12, 2013 at 05:39:22 PM PST

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