Blogger and ecologist Neahga writes about an issue I’ve encountered several times since leaving college – lack of access to scientific journals and papers.
It was a couple of weeks after graduation before it really hit me that I was done. I saw a link to an interesting journal article online. The exact topic has since faded into a foggy recess of my memory, but it was probably a new ecology or sustainable agriculture study. Thinking it would be nice to use the ol’ gray matter again, I clicked it. And was immediately, curtly, denied access.
I’ve tried to access papers a few times since then (whether out of optimism or masochism, I don’t know). Sometimes I get lucky, but usually it’s just the same brief rejection. It’s almost enough to make a guy stop trying.
It’s difficult to stay current in science without access to the major publications. And shelling out the $200 for a year of Nature subscription hasn’t found a way into my newly-graduated budget. Maybe that will change someday, but in the meantime there are a lot of open-access journals out there. For those of us without access to journals through school or work, they are an excellent way to stay up to date.
After reading Neahga’s list, I’m excited to give being well-informed another go.