Tag Archives: academic journals

Is hiding research behind a paywall immoral?

If you are a scientist, your job is to bring new knowledge into the world. And if you bring new knowledge into the world, it’s immoral to hide it. I heartily wish I’d never done it, and I won’t do it again.

That’s Mike Taylor’s thoughts on publishing research, and I tend to agree. To me, hiding research behind a paywall — particularly publicly funded research — goes against the main purpose of research, which is expanding the knowledge and understanding of mankind. That’s not possible if very few people read it.

I currently have access to a lot of academic articles and research as a graduate student, but I won’t in a few years when I’m done. Most of this research will be ghettoized to academic circles. The knowledge and ideas contained within these academic articles would be relevant to me long after I leave school.

Most of the most eager and curious minds are students, particularly younger ones. And yet k-12 students don’t have access to this information. Is it realistic to expect a sophomore in high school to spend $20 to read an academic article?

But these young minds are exactly the kinds of people who should be influenced by this research and looking to push it forward.

The biggest reason cited for publishing in this closed academic journals is the need for tenure. Well, it’s time tenure commities stopped being part of the problem. Knowledge should be open, and the quality of the research, not the name on the journal should be what ultimately matters.

Personally, I think blogging research might be the best approach and then having this collected into open-access Web journals. This would make finding academic research easy, and would also make it easy to comment on and share. Imagine if academic research went viral on social media?

Episode 37: Blogging for tenure

We start off by discussing the Das Keyboard that I’m testing out for review purposes. Jeremy may have never heard a louder keyboard before.

But for the author, the Das Keyboard feels heavenly and the loudness is an asset. You owe it to yourself to at least try a mechanical keyboard before you die. This isn’t my final review, but early results are very positive.

Why shouldn’t someone who writes, programs or types for a living think very deeply about the device they use to do most of their work? Why do we spend so much time picking out our actual machines, software, even mice and so little on our keyboards?

I’m typing this entry on a Apple Extended Keyboard that I got off of Ebay to compare modern vs. old mechanical keyboards. It’s huge little a battleship, but man does it feel good, even though it is 20 years old.

We then take Google Drive for a spin and discuss how we think it stacks up against Dropbox and iCloud. If you’re interested in setting up a writing workflow with an iPad, I highly recommend you check out this post. I bring this up because any good mobile workflow will need one of these three services.

We also discuss academic writing in the Internet Age. Why is so much scholarly work locked up in academic journals that no one reads?

Is it time for academic blogging? Can you get tenure in your Mom’s basement?

I apologize for my audio sounding weird at the end. I’ll investigate what went wrong with my microphone.

Listen to this week’s episode:


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