Friday, July 30, 2010

If we don't need to read the research results for a while - why not redirect the research funding?

One of the more puzzling arguments made by publishers lobbying against open access is the notion that in some areas, there is a long lag between publication and reading, so a lengthy embargo of multiple years is needed.

If this is the case, it seems obvious to me that if there are other areas - such as keeping up with the latest in my own field of communication, advancing medical research, or finding environmentally sustainable energy solutions - where the needs are more urgent, instead of protecting the publishers of the less-pressing research, why not redirect the research funding?

Not that I am advocating such a step be taken - but doesn't it seem logical?

Addition August 1st: this argument is a part of a larger argument, that is, if there is no compelling public interest in viewing the results of publicly funded research - then why is the public funding the research in the first place?