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back to article Nature sticks entire archive online

Science journal Nature has completed the digitisation of its entire archive by making available material from 1869's volume 1, issue 1 to 1949 as the final step in its five-year online deployment plan. According to the press release, goodies now available from the publication's first 80 years - encompassing more than 4,000 …

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Anonymous Coward

if you are going to subscribe to one journal..

It may as well be Nature. It's the bollocks. And the online stuff you get as part of the subscription is immense, I nicked my mums logon while I was at uni to get all the good stuff.

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Bronze badge

Nature is an interesting publication for lots of reasons

For instance: If you make observations about how tossing a kushball around at a party, then add in a strobe light, you get the 'letter': "Failure of Visual Estimation of Motion under Strobe". While I haven't read the whole 'letter', I do know the author and the subject matter can be interesting.

Then again, the New England Journal of Medicine would be good to do a similar service!

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Unhappy

Science hidden behind a paywall

The archives are available, but at a price. How long will journals be allowed to hold scientific knowledge to ransom? Even now there is a movement to publish freely, such that the authors bears the cost rather than the readers, maximising audience and accessibility. Nature Publishing Group are profiting from the sale of works of great scientific importance and interest written by long-dead authors, the publication costs of which have long since been recouped many times over. The authors do not have the option to demand their work is published with "open access", even though that might have been their wish. This might just about be acceptable in the music and literary publishing industries, but when it comes to basic scientific knowledge, it stinks.

What does Watson think about his work being sold for $30 a pop over fifty years after he produced it? Of course, he sees none of the money, it is pretty much pure profit for NPG.

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Nature and Science

I recommend subscribing to Nature and Science. I dropped Scientific American, which like almost all popular science in print or on television, has been dumbed down.

My only real objection to Nature has been that it allows some of its non-scientist editors too much room to publish on their political opinions. They're exploiting a reputation that they didn't build, and the whole debacle about wikipedia was an embarassment to Nature.

As for paying for online access, so what. They own the intellectual property and they pay for the servers and internet bandwidth. I'm tired of all this "free ponies for everyone" demagoguery. Everyone things that _the other person_ should be more altrustic.

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Big deal

If I wanted to browse the archive before I couldn't. Now, I still can't. If I wanted to have a particular article or issue to look at I would have had to pay for it. Now I have to pay for it.

What actually happened here that a secretary with a scanner could not have done before?

In short: this is crap.

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copyright expiration?

What is to stop somebody from taking the older articles and just rehosting them on their own server? The copyright will have expired, so the content ought to be public domain.

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Coat

Libraries are free

so if you want to do your own research, go to one of those.

if you want someone else to present peer-reviewed science in easily accessible form, you'll have to pay them, otherwise they will quickly deplete their supply of sheckels (giving their time and effort away for free), and have to go get a paying job (this is called capitalism) so they won't starve to death.

@ Don Mitchell

you are, of course, correct: Wikipedia (as an example of unnatural selection of the least sensible, knowledgeable, capable, and sane) was, and still is, an embarrassment to Nature.

yes please, tag number 23, mine has the tin foil hood and asbestos lining, and the missus' is the black rabbit fur collar...

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@BKB

Yes, producing a good quality science journal does take money but perhaps not as much as you might think. In many science journals all the reviewing and editorial work is done by academics and they are not paid for this work. On top of that the authors of the science articles are not paid either and furthermore quite a few academic publishers now have page charges so these authors haver to actually pay to have their work published. And while I'm here, there's no royalties either because authors sign over copyright before publication or they don't get published. So costs are fairly minimal.

On the downside, science journals don't sell that many copies which adds significantly to the final price.

While most academics think this voluntary work is all just part of the job of being an academic many are now questioning the prices charged by publishing houses which is limiting the accessibility of the science they have done. Broadly speaking there are two types of organisations in science publishing. First there are the recognised publishing houses which are in it for profit. Second there are the science societies some of which publish in-house journals. The latter aim to make a small profit which is ploughed back into the society. Both get their editorial work done gratis by academics but many are looking at the for-profit publishers and wondering why.

Inevitably institutions conducting research will be looking to publish work online themselves and cut out expensive publishers. In fact this is being done in a limited way already. All that needs to be in place is a rigorous peer review system which validates the scientific merit of the work.

Steve

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@BKB

>Efforts to produce "free" science journals on the internet started over ten years ago, but have not succeeded

False. There are many Open Access journals available such as those published by BioMedCentral and Public Library of Science, plus other publishers (e.g Oxford Journals) give authors the option of publishing as Open access.

Plus, with British research councils requiring all of their funded work to be published in Open Access journals, this will now become the norm rather than the exception. This is excellent news as science is all about sharing knowledge.

My University library doesn't have access to the newly released archive, so you will likely need a special subscription to access the pre-1950 articles.

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This is crap.

I applaud the efforts of publications like Palaeontologica whose purpose is to promote the online publication of academic articles for review and to further the spread of scientific discovery. I have no respect for this move to charge money for articles that are over a half-century old.

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Boffin

Re: Science behind a paywall

There is a free online science "journal", although they call it a pre-publication e-Print archive:

http://www.arxiv.org/

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Beggars Belief

It beggars belief that the public have to pay these parasitic journals to see the results of research that the public themselves funded through the Research Councils.

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Alien

re: if you are going to subscribe to one journal..

but judging from a respected science publication - you might as well visit Wikipedia because it is more accurate than paid for stuff

http://www.theregister.co.uk/2006/03/23/britannica_wikipedia_nature_study/

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Coat

free online journals

There is a free, online, peer reviewed scientific journal...

Wikipedia!

What's that? Banned for a month? Can't I even get my coat? No? Ah, hell, it was worth it!

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Re: Beggars Belief

The public don't 'have to pay' anything if they don't want to.

You will more than likely be able to view paper (yes, paper!) copies of the original Nature journals at decent libraries.

Nature has spent a lot time, effort and money to make their archives more accessible to everyone. They didn't need to do this, but I say 'Well done!' to them and I feel it's justified for them to be recompensed for this undertaking.

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