My apologies to readers who have been looking for novel content the last few days. I am swamped with all variety of personal and professional issues but when I finally had a moment to write about something of value, I needed a copy of a short review article from a European cancer journal published by Elsevier to which my institution does not subscribe. I patiently went through their process to register for their site, told them who I was, where I worked, what subdiscipline, etc.
So, I logged in clicked on the PDF link for this two-page article and was told it would be $31.50, thank-you-very-much.
A 13-year-old article. By a deceased scientist. Two pages.
As institutions continue to cut budgets for their medical and scientific libraries, the costs of journal subscriptions are falling to individual scientists, many of whom get journals through membership in their scientific societies (membership fees that are now only rarely covered by departments). And don’t even get me started on my domestic and international colleagues who are at institutions with little or no journal access.
So, big publishing houses: how ’bout helping a brother out?
Five bucks, maybe?
Free for articles more than 10 years old?
And if someone can’t get my 13-year-old work for free, rest assured that I will not be submitting my work to your journals.
Oh, but thanks for the impetus to write a post.