Wednesday, November 26, 2008


Access Control to Scholarly Articles

I get really annoyed when I search Google for something and find abstracts and titles of articles in scientific journals and then find that the actual document sits behind access controls.

Since I'm an MITer, I can usually access these documents by pushing a few extra buttons. Certainly, I always know someone who has access to the document and can probably explain it to me.

It occurs to me that anyone interested in reading these types of articles can probably access it anyway.

Why are we so obnoxious about putting passwords and payments in the way? Won't it just be more productive for everyone if we removed these access controls?

And what about the people who can't access these articles for lack of money? Why should we deprive those without means something which would cost nothing to give freely?

There is something greatly broken in modern culture.

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