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Archived Comments for: Chemistry publication – making the revolution

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  1. 1. about universal access because research works on public funds. 2. About access for the third world

    Milind Khadilkar, Chintan Systems Pvt. Ltd.

    28 May 2013

    Thanks for a nice article.
    I refer to the argument of OA proponents referred to here:

    Since much research is funded by government agencies, so society as a whole has paid for this research, OA proponents argue that the results of this publicly-funded research should be universally available at no additional cost [12]. Others argue that third-world countries and other impoverished users should not be prohibited from gaining access to important discoveries solely because they lack sufficient funds to pay for access.


    As indicated in the comment title, I have two points to make:

    1. That the common public funds most research is no doubt correct. But an individual in Japan does not pay for research in the US through taxes. So, considering "public" as a unit is not correct, or is correct only within national tax jurisdictions. In fact, making research available to all humanity might be good philosophy but is likely to be unfair to tax payers.
    2. Poorer countries cannot pay for research information. Very true. But this problem is best handled through developmental grants at intergovernmental levels or through funding agencies like UNESCO. And (without really seeking actual statistics) I believe it has had a fair level of success over the past few decades. At another level, corporations pump the necessary funds into developing countries through subsidiaries, outsourcing, collaborations and other alliances. Publishers also contribute by special pricing initiatives in such countries.

    I believe the above two issues do not impact the subject matter of this paper. There is sufficient merit in Dr. Bachrach's proposition even without them.

    Competing interests

    Not really a competing interest but...I am from a country which has benefitted from grants such as the above, and which is still struggling to make adequate financial provision for scientific research.