Monthly Archives: March 2012

Door sein- en wisselstoring

There was a failure at the ‘traffic control centre’ in Amsterdam this morning. It took me almost four hours to get to work; and being stranded at Utrecht Centraal (34 km south of my workplace) for a good forty minutes and sitting in traffic on the replacement bus from Naarden-Bussum didn’t help either.

The entire rail network of the Netherlands is, according to Wikipedia, controlled from just thirteen control centres. Closing small signalboxes because they’re cute and you want to be evil is all well and good but the effects if something goes wrong spread like wildfire.

→ Academic paywalls don’t just cost money, they hinder research

Ben Goldacre:

In the two cases [described], academic journal paywalls acted as a barrier to research by slowing peoples progress in accessing content they had a legitimate paid right to. [...] These paywalls simply act as a barrier to research.

Even if I did have a day’s wages to spend on a single article, if a journal doesn’t permit me to read and research at my own leisure, I’m sorry but that field’s lost what could have been an excellent mind. And at such a high price per article, a well-designed and well-engineered interface isn’t being put off for financial reasons; either laziness or just good old-fashioned “enough people’ll pay us regardless of what we do”-ism.

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