What is piracy? Simply put, it is copyright infringement, infringing certain exclusive rights granted to the copyright holder, such as the right to reproduce, distribute, display or perform the protected work, or to make derivative work. Besides being illegal, it is unnecessary. There are many legitimate and legal ways to obtain various versions of research articles at little or no cost. The Association of American Publishers (AAP) brought this interesting information to our attention in their article, “Scholarly Publishers Explain the Consequences of Piracy.”

Publishers have been working to arrive at a reasonable balance to expand access because scholarly research is by its nature collaborative. Sharing of articles and supplementary material is thus an important factor in advancing research. Research papers are more available, and available at a lower cost per-paper, than ever before, trends that are likely to continue. However, affordable access to research is still a major challenge to some.

Melody K. Smith

Sponsored by Access Innovations, the world leader in thesaurus, ontology, and taxonomy creation and metadata application.