A Human Right To Science, Locked Behind A Paywall, Inspires New Meme

from the bp;dr dept

We’ve spoken out for a long time about why paywalls are generally a bad idea. Sure, they can earn some companies a bit of money that may slow down their decline, but there’s little evidence that they can be useful in the long term. Paywalls go against almost every core concept of what works online. They make information harder to share, harder to discuss, harder to build upon. They also open up huge opportunities for others, who don’t have paywalls, to step in and scoop up the missing traffic. Over at the Neurobonkers blog, they’ve noticed something rather ironic in a new paper from the famed journal Science, called A Human Right to Science. Apparently, that “right to science” is so strong that Science (with a capital S) has locked it up behind a paywall.

In response, the folks at Neurobonkers have tried coining a new meme, known as bp;dr, or “behind paywall, didn’t read” a play on the well known tl;dr. There is an unfortunate irony at work here. Having an article on the human right to access… and then making sure it’s not accessible. Whose bright idea was that?

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Comments on “A Human Right To Science, Locked Behind A Paywall, Inspires New Meme”

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Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re:

The named individuals are presumably now meta trolls who don’t even have to make an appearance to achieve trollitude on any particular article.

I do understand that some people have weak and impressionable minds, but please, seek help for yourself and free your mind from it’s link with the troll collective; which will mean the rest of us will only have to deal with their nonsense when they actually make the effort to troll.

xenomancer (profile) says:

Worse than it looks

Don’t forget, the paywalls for academic and scientific journals revolve around the old idea of time spent in the basement of some collegiate library. “Access” typically constitutes a 24 hour window to read a pdf, which incidentally is why I always recommend to students that they violate the terms of the agreement and just save the pdf so they can go back and read it later. The insanity is that the license has no problem with printing the document, just with saving or otherwise copying the digital form. Also, unless you happen to be fortunate enough to be on an academic network that 24 hours of “access” usually costs around $30.

None of the costs of actually producing the content are paid by the journals. In fact, the journals (thankfully) do a good job rejecting the majority of content submitted. But let’s not forget, the reviewers do that work as well. The journals only foot the hosting costs, as many of them are no longer available in print do to the economy of scale online-only allows. The MAFIAA dream about a deal like that.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Worse than it looks

Actually that is exactly what rightholder organisations are claiming. “Every use has to be measured in terms of its damage to the market of the original work. In this regard, digital reproductions are generally far more damaging than physical reproduction given its easy of copying, publishing and obtaining”.

Now who is the luddite here? The statement has been openly claimed several times, though it is mostly used as an implied knowledge to weed out people and/or topics they don’t deem worthy to discuss.

Anonymous Coward says:

A Human Right To Science is clearly an article written in Science. I therefore wouldn’t blame the dinosaur, but rather its feeder, the author of the article, for cowardly publishing a such named article behind a paywall.

When that is said, bp;dr still seems like a relevant abbreviation since paywalls are on their way to completely exploding among publishers gone interwebs in the upcoming 10 years.

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