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Unshackling basic knowledge

Lester, DR 2012 , 'Unshackling basic knowledge' , Policy, vol. 27, no. 4 , 48-52B .

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Australian taxpayers spend billions of dollars yearly on basic biomedical research. By grave anomaly, the main literature from this research does not become publicly accessible; instead, it is mostly given away to a motley bunch of journal publishers who mostly sell it at monopoly prices to readers. The arrangement arises from the ‘establishment’ of the international research community still supporting publishing practices dating from print times. So far, the United States is the only country to have corrected the anomaly by legislating public access to federally funded biomedical research literature. Australia has been laggard in following suit.
Biomedical research literature carries new basic knowledge intended for social and economic benefit—and is thus a public good. Clearly, society should not have to pay to read it or let it be controlled by journal publishers who do not fund the research. The arrangement encourages ignorance, smothers innovation, and is unethical.

Item Type: Article
Authors/Creators:Lester, DR
Keywords: peer-reviewed journals, academic journals, research publication, open access to knowledge, journals crisis, serials crisis
Journal or Publication Title: Policy
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Copyright © 2012 The Centre for Independent Studies

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