Free online publication of peer-reviewed scientific articles is essential to environmental journalists. Not only do environmental journalists need authoritative information, but they need it fast ... without waiting for full texts to arrive by email or lengthy permission procedures.
For-profit scientific publishers say they need to charge to pay for publication of the articles, and consequently need to restrict access to paid subscribers. But how far should this go? Article authors have often made free texts available to journalists and colleagues — as have university PR departments.
One such publisher, Elsevier, caused a stir recently by demanding that several universities take their own scholars' research down from the web or social media.
"Elsevier's new hard-line posture is likely to intensify a debate over the future of academic publishing," observed Andrea Peterson in a Washington Post blog.
- "How One Publisher Is Stopping Academics from Sharing Their Research," The Switch blog (Washington Post), December 19, 2013, by Andrea Peterson.
- Previous Stories: WatchDogs of February 27, 2013; January 16, 2013; and June 13, 2012.