Author Topic: Independent Scholars Watering Hole  (Read 431 times)

smoghat

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Independent Scholars Watering Hole
« on: February 07, 2019, 06:26:39 AM »
One option for a productive life after early retirement is independent scholarship. I'm sure I'm not the only one.

Let's share resources and experiences!

One big issue is that in the last twenty years it's become both easier and harder to access scholarly literature. Easier because you can access so much literature online now. Harder because big companies charge big bucks to control access to journals and other online data.

Two big sources are EBSCOhost and JSTOR. My library now has access to at least some EBSCOhost resources. Meanwhile, JSTOR is available to alumni of one of my schools.
 
There are also more questionable sources that have been developed by scholars in developing countries who don't have access to the walled garden,  e.g. library genesis and sci-hub as well as aaaaarg (ok not on the same model, but close), monoskop log, and library.memoryoftheworld.org to name a few.

But there are other issues too, independent scholars are seen as peculiar individuals who either are rich (not good to say among Leftie academics!) or couldn't cut it in the academy. It's harder to get things done outside of the institution and so on. Your thoughts!!! 

nereo

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Re: Independent Scholars Watering Hole
« Reply #1 on: February 07, 2019, 06:51:55 AM »
access to journals is not a problem limiteed to independent scholars - the subscription fees for the big publishers like Elsiver are so high that it's a major expense for all but the larger universities, not to mention the sheer number of niche journals.

Those of us at smaller labs or less-endowed colleges have to rely on the P2P sharing of ResearchGate or Sci-Hub, and/or beg and borrow articles from friends with better access.

One reason why I fully support open-access journals.  Unforutnately publication fees for many can be $1k+ if you wish to publish open-access.


smoghat

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Re: Independent Scholars Watering Hole
« Reply #2 on: February 07, 2019, 07:25:26 AM »
Yes! You are absolutely right! 

I've taught at both and it's insane. What the Ivies and MIT have compared to a place like Art Center, OMG! Meanwhile, yes, Open Access has become another profit center.

Maybe a radical underground online journal needs to emerge?

Here's an up side! I once spoke with a friend who wrote for Cabinet and he said "They pay well." I said, what on Earth do you mean, they don't pay anything. He said, yes they do, just to journalists not to academics. :0 

access to journals is not a problem limited to independent scholars

Those of us at smaller labs or less-endowed colleges have to rely on the P2P sharing of ResearchGate or Sci-Hub, and/or beg and borrow articles from friends with better access.

One reason why I fully support open-access journals.  Unforutnately publication fees for many can be $1k+ if you wish to publish open-access.

nereo

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Re: Independent Scholars Watering Hole
« Reply #3 on: February 07, 2019, 07:54:27 AM »

smoghat

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Re: Independent Scholars Watering Hole
« Reply #4 on: February 07, 2019, 07:59:51 AM »
Just in time for this forum …

I feel liberated! I had agreed to write an article for a Routledge reader last fall.

I hate Routledge publications as a whole (many are too expensive, almost all the rest are shoddy and tempt me in only to disappoint).  I missed the part about providing an abstract in December.

My fault, yes, but the article is due in April and how would I write a 250 word abstract if I hadn't written the article yet? And why would I write it now instead of April? It's not like I have a lot of other things to do.

I had some general ideas and I know that in couple of weeks of work I could have done something good. But I don't operate on their deadlines… They asked me to send the abstract a couple of times and the tone was getting insistent. I'm sure they needed that abstract NOW but they needed my name in the project more than they needed that abstract. 

So I just bowed out of it. I don't need this.

flyingaway

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Re: Independent Scholars Watering Hole
« Reply #5 on: February 07, 2019, 09:43:33 AM »
These days, accessing to scientific papers is not a problem, you can google for a PDF copy or ask the author(s) to e-mail you a copy, for free.
Publishing scientific papers becomes very expensive. Free publishing becomes very rare.
For an independent scholar, I guess you don't care about the formal publication. You can just "publish" it online for free.

nereo

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Re: Independent Scholars Watering Hole
« Reply #6 on: February 07, 2019, 10:32:25 AM »
These days, accessing to scientific papers is not a problem, you can google for a PDF copy or ask the author(s) to e-mail you a copy, for free.
Publishing scientific papers becomes very expensive. Free publishing becomes very rare.
For an independent scholar, I guess you don't care about the formal publication. You can just "publish" it online for free.

It's still a problem if oyu don't want to run afoul of copyright laws, and/or if your institution has guidelines preventing such activity. We cannot have PDFs of our articles on our web page, nor can we make them available on platforms such as ResearchGate.