Making All Scientific Journals Free And Online

from the open-sourcing-science? dept

A number of scientists are backing a proposal to offer up all scientific journals in a single online database that is free and open to the public. They feel that this is a worthy cause and that everyone should have access to the scientific information – and be able to search across it. The concept seems good – but of course, the journals who rely on subscription info aren’t happy about it. The response is that articles would only be published in the database six months after original publication. I’m also not sure why it needs to be in a single central database. Haven’t they learned anything about distributed computing?

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Comments on “Making All Scientific Journals Free And Online”

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Cameron Simpson says:

Re: Re: No Subject Given

It’s the same thing. A central database would arguably be cheaper overall (1 set of DBAs, etc etc). The real point it that there should be a single interface. The other neat thing about a single database could be that you don’t have the hideous interfacing issues; when many publishers are to supply stuff they _all_ have to get the format right – with one supplier (of the central public db) it will at least be consistent. One has only to look at the schlock hardware permeating the PC world to see this loose semiadherence to standards that pervades it all.

D. V. Henkel-Wallace says:

it _must_ be distributed

An important part of being a reference library is having _redundent_ copies of journals. Stuff gets lost, damaged, edited…all sorts of disasters befall collections.
The reason we have what classical literature we do is because various copies survived.
Just because the data are digital doesn’t mean this won’t be an issue. Companies can go out of business. databases can be corrupted. _Companies_ can be corrupted, and can try to edit history.
Multiple copies of everything is crucial.

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