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First WikiLeaks, Now ScienceLeaks

Frustrated by paywalls on scientific papers? Biologist Rosie Redfield has set up a blog site called Science Leaks that provides links to “peer-reviewed scientific papers that been liberated from behind journal-subscription paywalls.”

The idea is to ensure that research, especially research paid for by public funds, is accessible to the public, wrote Redfield, an associate professor at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver, Canada. She runs a microbiology research lab in the university’s Life Sciences Centre.

“Most researchers agree that this legacy of the pre-internet days is morally wrong and unfair to everyone,” Redfield wrote. “Those of us who can afford it pay thousands of dollars to the journals to make our own articles open access. And many of us post PDFs of our own papers on our personal web sites. But these aren’t easy to find, especially for people not working in the field.”

Science Leaks is a temporary solution, Redfield wrote. She hopes someone else will be inspired to set up a better Web site.

“But the real solution is to change from having subscribers pay publication costs to having granting agencies pay them, either directly or as a line item in grant budgets,” Redfield wrote.

There’s been a movement in recent years to making science research more accessible. Groups such as Public Library of Science make science and medical research freely available to the public. But for-pay publications such as Science and Nature still carry the most prestige.

Comments (1)

  1. This actually reminds me more of a Napster of science than a wiki leaks of science because what's being distributed here is not secret, undisclosed research or communication, it's published research behind paywalls. The site by the way is http://scienceleaks.blogspot.com/.

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