PLoS is a nonprofit organization of scientists and physicians committed to making the world's scientific and medical literature a freely available public resource. All our activities are guided by our core principles.
I have long wished for, and argued for, complete and open [read: free] access to peer-reviewed science and medical journals. I get into lots of arguments in blogs, on message boards, in real life, in which I'm challenged to back up my statements. I'm almost always right [April Fools Day jokes notwithstanding], and a quick Google Scholar or other search often turns up just the right article[s] I need to buttress my point. Voila! Click on the relevant link and get directed to an abstract [or sometimes an abstract of an abstract] and a link to buy a copy of the article.
WTF?! Twenty or thirty dollars to buy one article?! At that rate I could spend my entire paycheck between coffee break and supper time.
- Didn't my tax dollars already pay for you to not only do this research but also for you or your institution to subscribe to this [horrendously expensive] journal? Yes, they did, so don't tell me that's why you need to charge me such outrageous fees again.
- Nor am I buying the "it costs big $$ to store all that information" argument. Google and YouTube, and many more sites like them, let me and countless millions of other folks blog and vlog for free. That's a lot of server space, dudes; if they can do it so can you.
- And finally: No I do not trust the MSM* to read and accurately regurgitate scientific literature for me. I want to read it for myself.
* I've already forgotten which blog I saw it on, but we're being exhorted to stop calling it the "mainstream media" and start calling it the "corporate-owned media." It's a good idea, but MSM looks better than COM, and typing out the full phrase just increases my chances of making embarassing spelling mistakes. I'll be sticking with MSM for a bit longer I think.