from the it's-a-start dept
It's unclear how much of that research is technically "allowed" to be published like this. If you're not familiar with the dirty sausage making of academic research, many journals claim all copyrights on research (despite not paying a dime for it -- and, in some cases, even requiring the researchers or their institutions to pay to submit the papers in the first place). Many then have policies that bar the original researcher from further distributing the work, so it's likely that some of the released research is in violation of those agreements. That said, over the past few years, more and more journals (often due to significant pushback from academics) have recognized how ridiculous this is, and many have started to allow -- either officially or with a nod and a wink -- academics the right to post free copies of their own research on their own website. A few, much more enlightened journals even encourage researchers to post the work.
Either way, if one of the legacies of Aaron Swartz's all-too-short life is to get more people interested in open access to research, and to drive that movement forward, that's a good thing.