Research practices changed by free access to scientific results
Another good effect of free access is that scientific research is reshuffling its publishing model (or at least starting to) as attested by this article in The Economist:
IT USED to be so straightforward. A team of researchers working together in the laboratory would submit the results of their research to a journal. A journal editor would then remove the authors' names and affiliations from the paper and send it to their peers for review. Depending on the comments received, the editor would accept the paper for publication or decline it. Copyright rested with the journal publisher, and researchers seeking knowledge of the results would have to subscribe to the journal. No longer. The internet—and pressure from funding agencies, who are questioning why commercial publishers are making money from government-funded research by restricting access to it—is making free access to scientific results a reality. (...) The advantages afforded by the internet mean that primary data is becoming available freely online. Indeed, quite often the online paper has a direct link to it. This means that reported findings are more readily replicable and checkable by other teams of researchers. Moreover, online publication offers the opportunity for others to comment on the research. Research is also becoming more collaborative so that, before they have been finalised, papers have been reviewed by several authors. This central tenet of scholarly publishing is changing, too.
Why do I blog this? because I believe in this change and I am happy that things evolves (smoothly but...)