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Home :: Archive :: 2008 :: May ::
A Problem of Access
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 19.0280  Friday, 9 May 2008

From:		Larry Weiss <
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Date:		Thursday, 08 May 2008 14:43:02 -0400
Subject: 19.0272 A Problem of Access
Comment:	Re: SHK 19.0272 A Problem of Access

Gabriel Egan kindly responded to my inquires by saying that, indeed, he 
does take the position that a recipient of a research grant should not 
publish his or her results in a subscription journal. It seems to me 
that this policy would be counterproductive to the advance of knowledge. 
For example, if medical researchers, most of whom are funded by public 
grants (except those who are funded by pharmaceutical companies), could 
not publish their findings in the _New England Journal of Medicine_ or 
_Lancet_ (the two most prestigious medical journals in our respective 
countries), clinical physicians would not learn of discoveries that 
could affect the very lives of their patients. Gabriel says:

 >It is better to choose a journal that gives away its content for free

I know of very few such journals. In fact, among his many 
accomplishments, Gabriel is editor of two British academic journals, 
_Shakespeare_ (the organ of the British Shakespeare Association) and 
_Theatre Notebook_. Perhaps Gabriel can inform us of the policies of his 
journals in this regard. The _Shakespeare_ publisher's website 
(http://www.tandf.co.uk/journals/journal.asp?issn=1745-0918&linktype=rates) 
quotes an institutional subscription price of $405 and a personal 
subscription rate of $108. The site makes clear that "Subscriptions 
purchased at the personal rate . . . are strictly for personal, 
non-commercial, use only. The reselling of personal subscriptions is 
prohibited."

I also asked if Gabriel feels that professors should not lecture on 
their publicly funded research results to tuition paying students and 
again he responded in the affirmative, except that

 >to say something to a fee-paying audience (as at a
 >conference) in advance of making it freely available
 >to the public would not offend most advocates of
 >Open Access, since the work is likely to be enhanced
 >by the ensuing conversations prior to publication.

I suppose this is what makes for horse races and interesting debates. 
But to my mind, people who pay to attend a lecture would probably rather 
be edified than used as unpaid research assistants.

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