Following the recent death of Aaron Swartz, pictured astonishingly well in that documentary:
one may stop and ask yourself a question:
“Why do I strive to publish my PhD work in a so called High Impact journal?”
Most of the research undertaken by the vast number of universities in the first world countries is funded by taxpayer’s money. Why is it that knowledge produced thanks to public money must be published in the scientific journals that are protected by the inhibitory price tags and is not accessible to average Joe?
I think the answers lays in the people’s need to strive. A pull to climb up the career ladder in science makes ambitious researchers work harder. Working hard takes them to the elite club of highly cited colleagues. The editors and reviewers on the other hand are the gatekeepers you fear. The gatekeepers strive to sustain the quality of their product and let through things that move the knowledge forward. The end product of this self-perpetuating struggle is expected to be a good scientific article.
Aaron Swartz made a great precedence in making the database of scientific knowledge accessible to the public. The “JSTOR” remained neutral in case of this gigantic knowledge leakage what I take as a green light to a greater transparency. Scientists should continue to work and lobby on finding the civilized way to share their knowledge with less fortunate but knowledge-hungry fellows. I think INNGE network gives a great opportunity to stand for the right to knowledge for every citizen.