Can’t lose what you never had

Last night I had the strangest tweet. My fellow plogger-in-arms, Peter Janiszewski, said:

PLEASE HELP! I can’t get access to a journal article I WROTE:
http://bit.ly/aYb3Es Let me know if u can

So I sent it to him (my favorite kind of good deed is one that demands almost nothing of me but somehow provides enough material for a self-aggrandizing blog post). I thought it was funny…in a Brazil kind of way. Scientist places peer-reviewed article and is justifiably proud, what with publication being the coin of the realm in his chosen profession and all. And of course his peers at institutions that happen to have paid for a subscription to this same journal are now free to reap the benefits of Dr. J’s intellect and sweat equity. But the author of this paper is somehow shut out from access to his own work. Imagine being a master chef in a gourmet restaurant and being forbidden from sampling your own Chateaubriand because this particular steak wasn’t, you know, open access.

Sacre bleu!

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6 Responses to Can’t lose what you never had

  1. Emily Anthes says:

    If Kafka wrote a novel about scientific publishing, it would surely go something like this.

  2. David Dobbs says:

    Great horrible story. I’m working on a feature about open science, and have run into all sorts of strange variations of this.

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  4. mangrist says:

    Needs more giant bugs.

  5. Thanks again for helping me out Misha! Much appreciated. I’m also glad you got a blog post out of it:)

  6. I can’t tell you the number of times I’ve contacted researchers asking them to send me PDFs of their papers, only to have them reply that they can’t because they don’t have access to them. In fact, it happened just yesterday….ugh. So wrong.