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Thread: Universities that bust paywalls?

  1. #1 Universities that bust paywalls? 
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    So, I have done my research on the sorts of schools that I would like to apply to since it is just about time for me. Originally, I started with the list of 50 schools that had MD/PhD programs as sponsored by NIH, and then narrowed it down to those schools that had good chemical and computer engineering programs, or maybe experimental physics, etc.

    However, recently I have found that I would much rather find those universities that bust paywalls. The importance of universities is not only the social environment wherein professors and other experts and peers can be contacted, but the library. These libraries with thousands of journals and tens of thousands of archived subscriptions are really awesomely important. Not to mention the online databases.

    What schools are focused on busting these paywalls, like EBSCO, Science Direct, ACS, JSTOR, and all of the many other databases that Google Scholar crawls? What university libraries are the most well funded? Which schools are focused on providing information to their students, rather than enforcing nasty copyright violation policies? Not everything can be accessed through the Interlibrary Exchange after all, right?

    BTW, this is a massive cross post, so check out my pub/portal for this thread on all of the other forums.

    - Bryan


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  3. #2  
    Forum Ph.D. Wolf's Avatar
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    Pardon me for asking, but in today's technocracy of limitless information, what value does even the most extensive paper library have over the ability to simply access and search the vastness of the Internet?


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  4. #3  
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    I perfer paper to the internet. I don't know why but I don't like researching on the internet if I can help it. But its easier on the internet to look for things.
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  5. #4  
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    Personally I find the Internet invaluable for some facets of research. The paper media within a library has the inherit tendency to become outdated, while new information is more readily available via the Internet. There's a real possibility that by pouring through the books in the library, you are missing key changes, updates, or pieces of information.

    For some things, such as historical archives, libraries are valuable, but for research I believe the Internet is the dominate source.
    Wolf
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  6. #5  
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    For some things, such as historical archives, libraries are valuable, but for research I believe the Internet is the dominate source.
    Have you ever tried doing some real research over the internet? You have to have lots of money in order to access all of the content that you want, since there are many companies (Elsevier, etc.) that keep stuff hidden. Maybe you know something that I do not? Please share (or else my pocket book might cry).

    - Bryan
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  7. #6  
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    You can't access most real science journals for free over the internet. It costs a lot to even get online access, let alone an actual paper copy.
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  8. #7  
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    most people dont bother buying stuff when the internet has lots of it available for free.
    exactly what is it inside these science journals that is so exciting you have to buy them?
    when you have eliminated the impossible, whatever remains, however improbable, must be the truth
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  9. #8  
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    Quote Originally Posted by dejawolf
    most people dont bother buying stuff when the internet has lots of it available for free.
    exactly what is it inside these science journals that is so exciting you have to buy them?
    Virtually all modern science research is in these journals. The internet is usually fine for learning general information about topic, but you won't find enough information to let you actually do cutting-edge research. If someone develops a new technique for measuring the rate of something-or-other, or discovers that Important Phenomenon X is caused by Y (instead of Z like everyone though), you need to know about it if you're doing research in those areas. It's basically impossible to do research without them, and unfortunately they are very very expensive, mainly because the publishers know that you have to have them to do research, so they can charge almost anything they want.
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  10. #9  
    Forum Cosmic Wizard spuriousmonkey's Avatar
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    As a researcher I can tell you that it is extremely annoying not to have online access to a journal.

    I personally would not even submit to journals that are difficult to access because I know that I will not be read. In this respect open access journals are preferable. However, they are not so common yet, although more and more are being launched. Luckily also some with lower impact nowadays.

    You really need to be able to see what other researchers are doing, as has been said in the previous post. it is impossible to do proper research nowadays without. How are you going to write an introduction or discussion without having access to journals? Impossible.

    JSTOR is great! I really love it. It's expanding day by day and I love searching it for older literature. Yesterday i downloaded an article from it dated 1888. I would have to go to a special library for that to even read it. And with the older stuff you usually are not even allowed to copy it!

    I noticed it is mostly the smaller journals that give the biggest headaches with electronic access.

    Here we have a specialized page on the university's library website where you can search for journal titles and then you can actually see if there is electronic access and more importantly for what years there is access.

    Just half an hour ago I looked up a crucial paper. The university didn't have electronic access for this particular year, and they also didn't have the hardcopy for this year. I can buy it for 30$.

    I really need to see it.

    My next course of action is to ask a friend at a different university if they have access and ask them to mail the pdf.

    But you can see from these examples how important it is to have access to as many electronic journals as possible, and as many years of publication as possible.
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  11. #10  
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    i know my university has a vast accessible on-line library service with free access to journals. however i have yet to try it out

    but i hear its very good.

    just as mentioned below, journals are a must for researchers and students working in science, because it offers the latest news having been peer reviewed.

    separating good science from bad science.
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    Feel free to correct any false information, which unknown to me, may be included in my posts. (also - let this be a disclaimer)
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