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All Scientific Papers Should Be Free; Here's Why They're Not

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Have you ever tried to access scientific research but the website says you have to pay? Why is that? Shouldn't information be free? Who Pays For Science? - https://youtu.be/L7oklmbtxoY Sign Up For The Seeker Newsletter Here - http://bit.ly/1UO1PxI Read More: Who Pick Up the Tab for Science? http://www.bu.edu/research/articles/funding-for-scientific-research/ "Scientists say that much of the public-and many politicians-do not have a general understanding of the scientific process, knowledge critical for smart decision-making in our increasingly technological society." Peer Review at Science Publications http://www.sciencemag.org/authors/peer-review-science-publications "For in-depth review, at least two outside referees are consulted. Reviewers are contacted before being sent a paper and are asked to return comments within 1 to 2 weeks for most papers. Reviewers may be selected to evaluate separate components of a manuscript." Vestiges of print publications in scientific journals https://blogs.scientificamerican.com/information-culture/vestiges-of-print-publication-in-scientific-journals/ "The first scientific journals were published in the late 17th century, and these print publications changed very little over time. Developments in printing technology, distribution and the advent of the commercial publisher all impacted the process, but the basic form was easily recognizable." ____________________ DNews is dedicated to satisfying your curiosity and to bringing you mind-bending stories & perspectives you won't find anywhere else! New videos daily. Watch More DNews on Seeker http://www.seeker.com/show/dnews/ Subscribe now! http://www.youtube.com/subscription_center?add_user=dnewschannel Seeker on Twitter http://twitter.com/seeker Trace Dominguez on Twitter https://twitter.com/tracedominguez DNews on Facebook https://facebook.com/DiscoveryNews DNews on Google+ https://plus.google.com/u/0/+dnews Seeker http://www.seeker.com/ Sign Up For The Seeker Newsletter Here: http://bit.ly/1UO1PxI Written By: Trace Dominguez
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Text Comments (557)
chorico coricho (2 months ago)
Zack Barkley (6 months ago)
Our intellectual heritage is being fraudulently, illegitimately, and thus illegally corporate-captured by a corrupt publishing industry composed of disgusting grifters. The cost to our economy and technological development by privatizing what should be open-source knowledge will be in the trillions and possibly immeasurable if we sell off knowledge and technology to the highest bidder and create technological feudalism...which is where this is all heading. The terror and cruelty and stagnation in progress that humanity suffered under the monarchies and nation fascist states after monopolizing lethal weapons technologies in our history, will be nothing in comparison to what we will suffer if we let the elites again gain monopolistic control of modern technology, quantum computing, AI, and other knowledge for their own nefarious purposes. Aaron Schwartz was truly a hero, and ahead of his time.
Felixkeeg (6 months ago)
The whole system of publishing papers and having journals is archaic and out of touch with how science works. Only positive results get published, but science is 90% failing and understanding why. Therefore it is important to share your failures with other scientists as well. If you have failed at a certain experiment, other people shouldn't fail doing exactly the same thing. Moreover they should be able to see what you did, so they can try a different approach or spot a mistake you made. I think a more appropriate take on scientific publishing in the modern world would be a free open-access database, where every scientist can share their results regardless of success or failure. Modern search algorithms are so advanced that other scientist working in the same field would have no trouble finding relevant information. Also, since everyone could see a detailed documentary of an experiment, results could easily be validated by other scientists in order to prevent fraud. Scientists today, especially PhD students, are under constant pressure to publish good results in respectable journals in order to make themselves stand out from the masses. This is not how the scientific community should look like and it is time for a change.
Otto Jihaad (6 months ago)
we should think about adding our up to date legal works to the list of texts more "giveawayable" than the book of mormon.
Dann Passoja (7 months ago)
There's much more to this than accessibility. Besides making profits the exercise unearned control over careers and the directions in Science. I become incensed when I find that some fat-cat publisher has made a profit from something that I contributed freely to humanity , my motive being that I was a Scientist and that was something that was attendant. The for profit publishers should be totally eliminated from the loop that reach far beyond the ones that you mention.
J Pitman (7 months ago)
If I were to fund research i would demand it to be made free to all.
Libor Tinka (8 months ago)
Imagine a Wikipedia charging $20 for viewing a single article. No they just ask for donation few times a year to run the world's largest knowledge base. I am happy to support them.
Chandler Supple (10 months ago)
What websites should do is mine cryptocurrency on your computer while you are viewing the published paper.
Yasser Sami Amer (11 months ago)
Excellent overview D!
Yasser Sami Amer (11 months ago)
Can this lady answer your inquiry? Check the sci-hub developer. https://youtu.be/dz1Uj20tZvs
Hal Asimov (1 year ago)
Seeker always pushing the "approved" message for the ruling class. Sometimes entertaining, sometimes pure propaganda!
Loli Roll (1 year ago)
You dumb ass... They could easily publish findings on the internet without having to pay anyone. Ever heard of Youtube comments? Who the hell am I paying to publish my awful opinion on the matter? Nobody... You are half right and half full of SHIT. Scientists, researchers, and publishers could easily, publish all findings for free online. They do not because of course they want money. That's why you find awesome websites that post their findings for free. Good luck finding them though.
Amit Gupta (1 year ago)
Gov should fund science which is basically all people
RedSkeletone (1 year ago)
no paywall
DragonborN7 (1 year ago)
0:21 Microtransactions?
Nico Volli (1 year ago)
Andy Kline (1 year ago)
Plos isn't free..those ASSHOLES still charge money
Lothar Scholz (1 year ago)
Let the subscription publisher die a painful death. I'm just an interested citizen (no corporation, no student anymore) and there is no way to read interesting articles without going bankrupt. Politicans talk about lifelong learning but how should i do this? Yeah books but research is where the real fun of learning is.
Edward GD (1 year ago)
really a poor plot about the rent of the paper, distort the all idea about share information.
iatrica (1 year ago)
If we could have access to any knowledge we would live on Mars, found a cure for AIDS, cancer, dementia and many other diseases .... It's sad ...
Jack 445 (1 year ago)
Motherfucker scientific knowledge must be free. Thats why schools are free. Curiosity belongs to humans and this must be free.
Katie Katie (1 year ago)
Couldn't the government just pay for it? Should be easy if they just make small military cuts.
UWBadgers10 (1 year ago)
I know why it's not free. Nothing is free. But why are they so damn expensive? Of course it's business. The research work is paid for buy tax money, researchers did all the hard work, but these publishers make huge profits.
BeaveHolio (1 year ago)
Even if we made them free no one would read them.
I'm not convinced
Siberian Orange (1 year ago)
Simple suggestion. Makes the journals free to academic institutions immediately on publishing. Businesses have no problem paying to remain cutting edge, as well as those with the money to keep up. After a reasonable period, say 1 year after publishing, then the archived journal becomes freely available to all in a digital only format.
Amila Pasan (1 year ago)
100th dislike! Just because it's hundred. No hard feelings.
angryknome94 (1 year ago)
lmfao at that first joke
segment 6543 (1 year ago)
Money system has slow down the Human Science Potential like 60%.
Varun S (1 year ago)
Those stupid ass justification he gives for those looters... DNews just lost its credibility value for me (I suspect they being lobbied)
Marwan Arkawi (1 year ago)
Because the world is full of assholes who want to make money out of everything
kiraPh1234k (1 year ago)
Actually servers and bandwidth are very cheap today
senselocke (1 year ago)
I'd say "Have the governments of the UN or the EU or the US pay for these", as spreading the costs to all nations above a certain GDP would make it a really tiny portion to each. However, I've been looking at the US and UK government recently and... well, that way lies madness, corruption, and unfathomable ineptitude.
Jake Hix (1 year ago)
whole segment on where authors and viewers don't pay, and take the ad in the ass.
thishadowithin (2 years ago)
I would rather watch a DNews video for free. Research papers are too boring to read.
Ivan P (2 years ago)
Science data should be published for free, paid by tax payers. if government were to do it, it would cost too much. so provide a grant to organizations that would publish and maintain the system for publishing, reviewing, etc. With stipulation that that organization be completely transparent about exactly how the grant money is spent to offer the service.
HunkMine (2 years ago)
My job or school has always been able to provide the papers. It's really the organisations paying. I do agree they should not be for profit.
kiran renduchintala (2 years ago)
i always wondered why i needed to pay to publish my own paper ...
The Garden of Eatin (2 years ago)
"If you like my research, why not support my Patreon..."
Goated Ethiopian (2 years ago)
4440th comment
Stephen Tranter (2 years ago)
I wouldn't mind paying a percentage of tax to scientific research
Matthew Niedbala (2 years ago)
Open access is dumb
Okay, so there was a study conducted about these studies. Give me a minute.
Boomer Starbuck (2 years ago)
To any morons who whine about paying to read science - "it's worth it bitches!"
RyanWake bradtelle (2 years ago)
um I don't know( cough ads).
kiwifruitkl (2 years ago)
Taxpayers should pay. Everybody pays into taxes and public libraries already, or else the IRS will arrest you for tax evasion. The good thing is that the public libraries are kept alive to offer "free" resources to patrons. They have physical and digital resources and have computing resources. With library computers, you can access the Internet through your public library and get on Google Scholar to find peer-reviewed scholarly articles and access them through the Interlibrary Loan or your library's academic databases. Great for Americans, because Americans already have a great, solid library system. I've heard that the people in Turkey are really limited in the number of libraries, let alone the amount of information that gets passed around and educated subject librarians on staff to help patrons and researchers. Now, the big question is, why you don't know this? Did you go to college/university? Just about every university student knows that the university has an academic database. Bigger universities may have the money to buy several journals just for their students. Public libraries may have substantially less resources, but that doesn't mean you can't get them through the ILL and consult their own subject librarians.
H2HeWeR1 (2 years ago)
The issue is not that publishers charge money for access to their publications, but that they charge as much as they do. If you're a professional scientist, working in industry or academia, your personal access to published papers is effectively free because your institution picks up the tab for the journal subscriptions. (How academic institutions get their funds is more complex than the average citizen is aware, and off-topic here). The problem is that if you're a "civilian" who wants to read a scientific paper that isn't "open-access", then you're faced with a cost of something like $50 for a few pages. This pricing is aimed at industrial customers whose pockets are deep because such costs are ultimately passed on to the consumer. Scientific publishers don't seem to understand that there is a market for their material in the public at large, and that they could sell a hell of a lot more copies of their articles if they charged a nominal few bucks.They've already covered their initial production costs - the rest is apparently just greed or stupidity. But some university libraries will let you access their resources for a modest annual fee. Just my opinion, as they say.
Derek Vuong (2 years ago)
I work in the IT industry and unless you're a bank you can easily outsource your server, database, and bandwidth to Microsoft, google, and HP for really cheap. These are documents not 4k videos and documents are much smaller than pretty much any type of files out there. Regardless it does require money even though it's not much, so we could watch ads to pay for the platform and the coding. The reason why they're so expensive is because It's a big business and the profit margins are huge, paying nothing for someone else's work and charging an arm and a leg to let someone read things you got for free.
sciencefyll (2 years ago)
Great intro :D
ironcityblue (2 years ago)
Lol no
Edward Cosio (2 years ago)
Taxes should pay for it. :3 <3
Mr. Sauce Jr (2 years ago)
💸💰💳💹💱💲Money = Kruption
Sorry if this was already posted (couldn't find it) but first, thanks for the story. Second, while it's true publishing costs money, you neglected to mention that commercial publishers tend to charge rates using a pricing scheme similar to kidnapping. Highly regarded journals can cost tens of thousands of dollars per year and universities must pay the ransom or be left out of the scholarly conversation. Not to mention names, but some "academic" publishers have ranked among the most profitable corporations worldwide in the past, and these always increasing costs are a major reason why a college education has become impossible for many otherwise-worthy working-class students who lack top grades.
Joshua Wangadi (2 years ago)
Sam Trott (2 years ago)
Pfft it's not free because people are greedy and want money. Look at wikipedia, yeah I know the information there isn't only from experts but anyone, but it could be. If wikipedia only was say for actual journals it would still be free as it always has. That site must get a LOT of traffic and its all paid for by donations.
Felipe Carvalho (2 years ago)
temp solution: universities give the public rooms to access any journal they subscribe to
CrazyIvanTR (2 years ago)
I think papers should become free after some time, so it's more of a "pay for early access" type of thing rather than anything.
AlphaSections (2 years ago)
The money must come from somewhere, so let the authors and publishers decide for their works. Artificial pricing and forcing "free" anything never works out well.
Christopher Rice (2 years ago)
We WANT to make these papers free. The question is, SHOULD we?
porteal (1 year ago)
Christopher Rice yes
hfyaer (2 years ago)
Make the paper version readers pay for the paper version and the internet version for free. what about server? 2.5 millions article a year is nothing and can be paid by fund raising. Believe it or not, the people reading these kind of papers are not stupid. We'll pay. Paying for an article that didn't help you in your research is frustrating. Finding a college account when you're not in college anymore is difficult. This whole thing needs to change.
Andrew Bachanov (2 years ago)
scientific method proves we dont spin, just saying. The globe is a lie. how does water curve on the globe model but it always finds its level in real life?
TiagoTiago (2 years ago)
Why don't we have a wikipedia of scientific papers, with only recognized good scientists allowed to become editors?
vk2zay (2 years ago)
Paywalls are a crime against humanity.
Arwildo (2 years ago)
I think when scientific paper free to read, people will be lazy to be curious. It's only work for scientist who reads for them paper
Paul Marostica (2 years ago)
After over 30 years of independent research I have invented a unifying physics theory which will permanently replace aether, classical, relativity, quantum, the standard model and string, theory. Its physically logical assumptions and implications simply and intuitively explain more fundamental physics phenomena more logically. I am offering my theory for an historic temporary sale, satisfaction guaranteed, to 1 exclusive 1st owner, after which I will publish it for sale worldwide. This video mostly considers the topic of payment, for providing access to the published results of scientific research, to cover publication costs. But publication costs are not the only issue. Even though I have paid for all my own theory research for over 30 years, some people become incensed that I am offering my theory, not for free, but for sale. They don’t seem to understand that science has never been free. Attention some people: Scientists support themselves and their families by being paid to do science. But what is perhaps worse than this misunderstanding by some people, is that the science community has no organization whatsoever which will evaluate and purchase an independently invented theory for its fair value. Imagine if Einstein, or Darwin, had insisted on fair pay for their independently invented theories. As a result, they might never have published, and no one would have benefited from the use of their theories. This situation keeps independent theory researchers either out of the science system, or at best, robs them of the value of their work. I suggest a government, or for-profit, institution which will, for a payment, happily evaluate any independently invented theory, and immediately offer to buy it for its evaluated fair value and publish it. In this way, all independent theorists will immediately become part of the science system, and will each pay for the evaluation and publication of their own theories. Also, as a result, the best independents will earn the most, the worst will lose their own money, and everyone will benefit immediately from all successful independent theory research. You can find my 5 videos using the 3 search keywords: matter theory marostica. Please note, you will not learn my theory from these videos, although you will learn about many of its important consequences.
Krzysztof Szumny (2 years ago)
There is a solution for that. There is a new open blockchain-based social-media site, which rewards content creators for content: http://steemit.com/ This model could be taken and used in similar network build for science publications.
Taylor Jones (2 years ago)
"And you thought we'd run out of ideas for DNews" Never!!
jakesweet1000 (2 years ago)
they should put ads on the side of the papers and you can pay to get rid of them, that way you make money of everyone and everyone still gets to see it.
Vilhelmo De Okcidento (2 years ago)
The Government should pay.
Nicholas Kite (2 years ago)
Scientific papers/knowledge should not be free. One should not be automatically entitled to another's hard work. Scientific inclusion should be seen more as a service than a human right.
Finn Hafnmr (2 years ago)
Pump them up with ads lol
Algore Daemon (2 years ago)
Bullshit man! I like DNews a lot but this is a bit off. There sure are well known ways to monetize especially if you are publishing on the internet, just put ads like Google and other companies always do. There are some publishers already working with this model where, if printed then pay, if not printed than free (with ads on site). If the consumer doesn't pay, they are the product. So why pay twice?
MrDan710 (2 years ago)
The thought of a brilliant kid or adult out there getting stopped in their own research because of a paywall is making me sad, imagine if that kid/adult would otherwise invented a cure for a disease or a million other possible inventions. Only the simple reason of being more educated as a person, getting stopped not reaching ones potential because a paywall is reason enough to take those walls down . tear down this wall! ich bin ein educater
Phil Heaton (2 years ago)
Someone has to select the best papers for peer review, oversee that peer review and select the papers that deserve publication after peer review. The journal has to be printed and distributed. All this costs money. I suspect that the EU may see a significant drop in papers that the EU has paid for getting published, because these journals can't afford to operate at a loss. They may find that the papers that do get peer reviewed and published will be publish by non-EU publications. In fact the EU journals may find themselves surviving by publishing foreign papers.
Trevor Saunders (2 years ago)
God dammit, I hate Trace's voice.
Trevor Morrice (2 years ago)
How about google they are rich AF and do tons of useless shit anyway "Google Papers" i can see it now
Kiwasi Games (2 years ago)
If most science is publicly funded, why not turn to those same sources of funding to fund the publication of scientific research. Seems a no brainer to me.
William Harrison (2 years ago)
"Shouldn't information be free" Said the guy who didn't publish the information
TheLastScampi (1 year ago)
You know, the guy that actually did the research don't get a dime for the publishing right? The journals are just media skimming the cream of already funded research. Leeches is what we'd call them in any other field.
Joshua Martin (2 years ago)
We should have a science tax. Use it to pay for basic tech for all and accurate unbiased information on the web.
Katie Katie (1 year ago)
Just cut the military funding by even 1% and that should be enough to cover science tax, and pretty much everything else with a ton left over.
Ángel Venegas (2 years ago)
I use Sci-Hub. That Web site gives you access to all papers for free, but it's kinda ilegal. 😂
Friendly Metroid (2 years ago)
Nah, come on. Yes bandwidth costs money, but text? As just plain ascii text you could put every medical paper in the world onto a thumbstick. Hyperbole yes, but the point is that saying the cost of the bandwidth stops the industry from sharing text information is weak. People wanting to make money off other people's work is the simple truth.
Katie Katie (1 year ago)
I somehow managed to make a BlogSpot account without paying anything. If I published studies on academic journals, I could easily then copy and paste these studies onto BlogSpot. It would be entirely possible and at no cost to me or those reading it for me to have all of my published studies available on BlogSpot.
redman777ful (2 years ago)
A few things 1) Most academics and scientists have access to journals already 2) True scientific papers are very difficult to read. If you are not educated in the subject, you have no business reading them. This is what leads to fake news stories, like 'coffee causes cancer' or some crap like that. 3) I think the best way to convey news is to have experts read the journals and publish a summary article for the public to read. This is done to a certain extent now, but most of the time the people writing the article is not an expert in the field. Look back at number 2 on why this is a problem.
Zaki Zaili (2 years ago)
If for example someone find a new infectious disease, publish it, ask people to pay, those who cant pay cant prevent the disease, cause more spread of the disease and so on. If I published a paper, I just want to make sure everyone else read what I have discovered. Profit is not a concern is sharing knowledge. When profit became the priority, we know where will science go in the future. And this also one of the factor that cause more pseudoscience fact to spread, because the real sciences are now only accessible to those with money and interest in science, while the pseudoscience are free for all.
la89ondevg (2 years ago)
Just Rephrasing. Some of the greatest inventions of our time came from interest of people in high positions in betterment of science and arts or some really motivated current world leaders which are trying to achieve greater good for society so why not simply government collect the tax and let scientific community decide what to fund for as people said that why to invest in space travel instead of agriculture but later realised that those satellites launched help in getting better forecast and planning for better yield .
James Oldfield (2 years ago)
It's nice to know that a lot of scientific journals are hindering scientific progress because of their price gouging. Why not just go all out, eh? I mean, why not make it so that you have to have 1 subscription which has a monthly cost just to have the privilege of paying per paper to review and then if they say yes, paying again per approved paper to get it published, and then they have to pay another subscription per monthly basis even though they're already paying monthly subscription just to be able to have the privilege of being able to pay per copy of their own published papers, and general readers of the journal's journal articles have to pay a monthly subscription fee to have the privilege of being able to pay per copy per journal article? Maximum price gouging!!
JTN AKL (2 years ago)
How about scientific research and scientists receive their salary/funding from grants (whether it'd be from governments, corporations, NGOs, institutes, etc) and the journals be published for free with the publishers receiving a cut of the grant money to compensate for publishing costs. Alternately, scientists can publish their findings for free online should they so choose so long as they still receive funding and salary from the one paying them the grants.
Just go resource based economy so everything can be free
Scott Johnstone (2 years ago)
They should be hosted online for free, but feature heavy advertising like YouTube - probably mainly targeting Scientists but hey they are consumers too right 😘 Problem solved.
CLINTON JONES (2 years ago)
google scholar
Joseph Schell (2 years ago)
Would having advertisements like other websites be out of the question?
PineSG (2 years ago)
This is an important issue. But it goes beyond just the what pay model is used. As it stands now there seems to be STRONG evidence that content/results are being favored (or not) not due to facts and science but due other influences. Thus we are getting a slew of reports like "water has no calories!" OK, its true and factual... but does it add to knowledge?... nope but publishers love it, it doesn't "rock the boat". So we get stuff like, "New use for old drug!, it reduces wrinkles too!"...
Anindita Saktiaji (2 years ago)
Donation? Just like wikipedia?
Nick Vinsable (2 years ago)
I guess it all depends on the Ultimate Goals. IF I were a Scientist who wanted to continue my research & development, I'd put together all that I've done so far, both successes & failures, & share them so I can continue my work(s). I could go with the plan where I invest in the publication & then I expect to be paid for each sold publication (each copy is worth one raw book plus enough interest to pay me back, up to 100% because of how much I've paid the publisher, & then split 50/50). The amount of Profit should be enough for 'Rainy Days', Charities, and/or Business Expansion and/or Improvements.
Bartosz Olszewski (2 years ago)
you don't have to pay for Facebook posts so why not lol.
Phefonyawena (2 years ago)
If the process costs 40$ per page, doesn't that pale in comparison to how much researchers are funded by companies and organisations for their work? That can be included in the sponsorship costs, no?
Arpan Mukhopadhyay (2 years ago)
Publishing costs are fixed costs. Massively reducing charges to view will allow many more people to access the journals while still recovering the costs. Also advertising and other means of revenues should be explored. Journals should be economically accessible to both authors and readers. And it should be exclusively online. If a researcher does not use the internet, the person should not be researching!!! And who needs to subscribe to a 200 page journal if the person finds just 20-30 pages worth of material of interest? One can just get the papers printed. It would be cheaper.
Henry Marshall (2 years ago)
did somebody here knows about scielo, redalyc, and others free places to find scientific papers?
A P (2 years ago)
well explained and superb presentation. thanks!
Miss Placed (2 years ago)
Well, people wanted things like search engines, social media, phone apps, and online news/blogs for free. What happened as result is a huge mess IMO. There came cookies tracking your every move, click bait ads in disguise of articles target to you based on all the data companies like Face Book and Google essentially sell. Do we really want that to happen to scientific research? What kind of pressure is going to be put on reviewers to approve a paper without checking the science properly when there are fistfulls of cash at stake? Publications are also great resume fodder, a person can make their career off of a publication in a prestigious journal. Many journals are now already under scrutiny for publishing glorified works of fiction, and have done real serious harm (eg MMR/ASD). I think a way needs to be found to take money out of the equation completely, but with the traditional model, people stop buying a journal if it's not worth it's salt, ergo the editors are more motivated to ensure it's accuracy and relivance. IMO, the traditional model is the lesser of the two evils.
AAA X (2 years ago)
If all the scientific papers were free and open to the public, people would realize that the so called "science", is not science at all. If knowledge and inventions were not suppressed, imagine how much better it would've been.
Breaking Free (2 years ago)

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