Wednesday, April 20, 2011

The dilemma of academic research

Since I was a child I got to know that research is or should have been a way to improve something, create something new and make others' life better. A cooperation is very much welcome and in some cases it is the very first requirement.
Things get more and more complex and a researcher working hard in the lab can do a lot less than a team of researchers who could share ideas and results all over the planet. This is a fact.
Another fact is that publications should be available to the community. But in practice there are researchers who think that their work is more valuable if printed on hard paper. Or maybe editors think this since they have to keep the interest of their customers.
So also in the academic world it seems that the producer-consumer relationship is making things harder then it should be. It seems (to me of course) that the academia doesn't want to speak Internettish.
Otherwise we wouldn't have had all those paid databases only capable (and I would add rich) Universities  can access.
Last but not least if I could have downloaded a stupid paper and realize that what I was working on *already* existed I would have spent the last month of my life doing something better!!

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