Science is a topic that covers many areas of research. It is a virtual labyrinth of information to navigate through and without a clue, you can encounter a few myths like the Minotaur from Ancient Greek mythology and get lost in a maze of information.
Open access to the discoveries being made by scientists worldwide is important for anyone wanting to learn more. Being able to read about the research team’s objectives and whether their results support the hypothesis or not is one of those expectations most people have. While an abstract provides a good summary, it doesn’t really provide the in-depth detail readers need to know.
I have noticed while trawling through online databases, many research papers are published behind a pay wall. And depending on the paper, individuals are expected to pay varying amounts to access the paper. If you are not enrolled at a University or an academic, access to the articles published by many science Journals is not cheap.
But considering scientists are charged a fee to publish their studies through a Journal, I suppose the advantage of global publicity and exposure to a review panel with experience commensurate with the cost, must make sense to researchers keen to share their work. Surprisingly, the latest discoveries aren’t always the most in demand publications in the science world.
Take Elementa geometriae by Euclid of Alexandria. It was written approximately 2300 years ago and since then, this ancient manuscript has educated some of the foremost minds in mathematics. An original first edition print from 1482 fetched $148, 842 when it was auctioned in 2016.
But other more popular manuscripts include Newton’s Principia Mathematica attracting an incredible $3.72 million. Basilius Besler’s Hortus Eystettensis was sold for a whopping $2.55 million, and Rheticus’ De Libris Revolutionum earned someone a cool $2.4 million. An original print version of Birds of America by John James Audubon attracted a record $11, 570, 496 USD.
A selection of research articles are published under the banner of free, open access content via many Journals and if you have the time, online science magazines provide an interesting perspective on the scientists, their study and research experiences, along with blogs and social media pages dedicated to STEM.
Earth still has its mysteries – some it can keep to itself – but there are many more exciting things to discover! The only challenge is open access to the data you need to read.
Written by Gabrielle Ahern