New paradigm in science diffusion
A recurrent problem among the scientific community is the access to article, this looks to me much more obvious since I arrived within a lab with more physicians and biologist. The situation looks like both a huge loss of time and money for our institutions (where budget tend to decrease) and a net loss for science.
In some research area like mathematics, the problem is even worth because not only access to article is difficult, but the impact factor of mathematical journal remain low (which is annoying in the situation where research is more and more evaluated according to “standard” criteria), as instance the annal of mathematics, according to wikipedia have a Impact factor of 4.1 (rank as the first journal within the mathematics field), which is not very high when you think that it publish works that received the fields medal. Ways to protest and try to change the business model for science diffusion exist :
An alternative is to help “open-access” journal, which are more and more renown like PLoS and BMC (to such an extent that they are followed by more conventional editor !), by including them in your must be read journal and or by publishing high quality studies in it…
Use preprint archive systems
Although very popular among the mathematic community, ArXiv.org remain pretty unknown for biologist (although it’s a 20 years old project !). Basically ArXiv is an easy way to publish pre-print (and thus give access ahead of print) for thus who could be interested in your work. A very funny things is that you can find on arXiv works that received prestigious awards before getting published ! A good news, while the biology section of arXiv remain poorly furnished (compared to other domain) Nature publishing group seems to test a similar approach with its Nature Preceding. I must say by now that I am not totally convinced that this will be the exact arXiv for biologist but let wait and see !
So comrade new paradigm are emerging let give them a try and see if world is changing ! ;-)