George Monbiot, writing for The Guardian has reported that academic publishers are charging a premium for people to access papers and reports that contain valuable scientific research.
As is almost universally agreed, the public need to be informed so as to make intelligent decisions and valued judgements. This must be seen across the board, from the scientific to political or historical spheres, though when academic publishers are charging upwards of £25 to read a single article from a journal, a rather excessive barrier seems to be in place to such understanding. Reading journals in libraries is another option, but with academic journals costing an average of £6250 annually, this is causing significant funding problems.
To make matters worse, such journals are paid for through taxation and government grants, so one would assume they would be made freely available. The universal declaration of human rights declares that “everyone has the right freely to… share in scientific advancement and it’s benefits,” though clearly the amounts it costs people to access journals contravenes this declaration. There is a growing movement for government’s to make publicly funded papers available to the public, allowing everyone a chance to engage with scientific advancement.
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