The proponents of open access argue that the taxpayers have paid the invoice and therefore deserve the product. They are referring to the scientific research supported by the federal government and the Fair Access to Science and Technology Research (FASTR) Act, which would make all federally funded research articles freely available to anyone who wants to read them. This information came to us from The Hill in their article, “The open access wrecking ball.”
It isn’t quite that simple, though. We are in a time of instant gratification when it comes to technology, especially the information and news available on the Internet that is seemingly free. But someone has paid for the content, somewhere along the line. If a reader isn’t paying for the content, advertisers or content owners invariably are.
There are exceptions, such as New York Times or Wall Street Journal articles. They have paywalls and because they have the reputation of having thorough, high quality content, users pay to access and read them.
In an open access world, authors would pay to have their content published, and that would affect all journalists regardless of their employers, topics, training, or connections.
Melody K. Smith
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