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Activism or science? A debate on open access.

Activism or science? A debate on open access. | Open Access News from the RSP team | Scoop.it

"Yesterday, I hit a nerve on Twitter. Ok, more than one. But it resulted in a great discussion about open access and brought up some interesting questions. I’d like to take the opportunity to explain in more detail what I meant and did not mean by my tweet. And then I’d like to open up the discussion further. But first, the backstory.

I am writing a systematic review. For those not familiar with the concept, this is not simply summarizing work others have done in a particular area of research. It involves designing searches, implementing filters, and clearly outlining criteria for selecting or excluding articles. The idea is to give a complete overview of the literature and be able to quantify, for example, what percentage of studies in the research area used a certain technique, or arrived at a common conclusion."

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Open communities bring the Open Access Button to life

Open communities bring the Open Access Button to life | Open Access News from the RSP team | Scoop.it

"Running into a publisher’s paywall is one of the biggest daily frustrations that many in research tend to encounter. Students and health advocates David Carroll and Joe McArthur decided to take these dead ends and turn them into something useful. With the help of the open source and open access communities, they have just created a prototype of a tool—the OA Button—to map article access denials and help users track down a version of the publication available for their use.

 

David Carroll took a year out of his medical studies at Queen's University in Belfast to gain research experience in the lab. For his study on cystic fibrosis, he read only papers for which his university had a subscription or those published in open access. At $35 a paper, everything else written on the topic fell by the wayside. “That gap in my knowledge probably ended my research,” he says, “because I didn’t have the opportunity to read everything [that would help me] generate hypotheses. I could only use what I had.”

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