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View Diary: Book Review: Censoring Science (76 comments)

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  •  A daunting task these days (8+ / 0-)

    A quick search a week or so ago on a few scientific hot buttons was most instructive. When googling such topics as GW, or evolution or HIV or any number of other topics, I discovered that the nonscientific sites have burgeoned, which is not too surprising, but the legitimate sites are fewer and fewer as more and more professional and academic journals are behind a subscription wall and the sheer volume of keeping up has to discourage science bloggers at some point.

    Some time back, I marvelled at how the internet had revolutionalized research as opposed to the old days of notecards and hardbound bibliographies and searching among the stacks for various musty journals. However, those days are gone as the intellectual chaff has inundated the kernals of wheat that remain.    

    •  Subscription walls hurt (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      JayDean, 4Freedom, RKOines

      Glad you brought this up.  A key example - while the WSJ.com kept all of their in-depth news subscription-only, the OpinionJournal, full of support for GWB's nonsense has always been free.  NYTimes.com (until recently) did the opposite, requiring a subscription to read the Op-Ed pages.

      •  Most university based publications now (9+ / 0-)

        have subscription walls or else a one time fee of ten or more bucks for an abstract. I have to read 5 to 10 articles or more at times to find the information I am looking for.  These walls block me from that information though I can always go to NewsMax for the latest on Bigfoot's being kidnapped by aliens.

        There was a proposal earlier this year that any research that is funded with public monies should be accessible to the public. Many professional and institutional journals rely on researchers to publish their research in order to fill an issue. Since the public paid for the research, why shouldn't the public also have access to the fruits of that research. Journal editors reacted rather badly because that would mean people would no longer have to subscribe but could read the original article online. On the other hand, for the editor of some obscure journal to hold a six year old article ransom to bolster his bottom line should be anathema for academia.    

        •  Papers (0+ / 0-)

          You may already know this, but just to note that it's very common for scientists to put free-access copies of their papers on their own web pages.  Finding those pages can be a minor pain since it's hard to turn them up via a direct search, but it's not too bad through their institutions.

          For specific papers you're interested in, abstract pages always include an email address for a corresponding author.  My experience has been such folks will almost always happily email you a copy of the paper.

          As well, U.S. government research institutes can put free copies of papers on their websites and a few (e.g. NASA GISS and NOAA GFDL) do so.  More would, I suspect, but for lack of webmaster funding.

          Also, open-access journals are a rapidly growing trend.  Off the top of my head there's the Public Library of Science/Medicine, the physics archive (not sure if that's the right name) and the EGU journals.  The AGU seems to be headed in the same direction, and for now is in the process of making access a lot cheaper than it used to be.

        •  for journals and other periodicals (0+ / 0-)

          Check the website of your local public library. There should be a tab for articles online, or something like that. Put in your card number, and you can read articles on line. At least, it works that way at my local library, and a few others I know of. If your library doesn't have it set up to where you can research & read articles online yourself, send them e-mail reference questions. Again, my experience is that they will e-mail you the article you are looking for.

          Here's the Austin Public Library's page for the online articles (you won't be able to use them without a card - I'm just posting it to show what kind of info is out there. And no, I don't know why it is in the "youth" area. Also, no, I don't work for APL & I'm not a librarian, just a heavy user of the library):

          http://www.wiredforyouth.com/...

          We have done the impossible and that makes us mighty - Firefly

          by anotherdemocrat on Mon Dec 17, 2007 at 07:40:18 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

    •  GW resources (0+ / 0-)

      I have to disagree on this aspect of science.  There are a huge number of on-line resources linked through the right bar over at RealClimate (plus of course the RC index now contains hundreds of up-to-date short articles).  A relatively new RC feature for beginners is the Start here page.

      That said, it takes a lot of study to acquire a good amateur-level grounding in climate science.

      Another important resource is Jim Hansen's Columbia page, which includes an option to subscribe to his email list.  DarkSyde, maybe you could plug this in some prominent way?    

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