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Amidst the covid 19 pandemic, scientists are sharing the latest data and research on the virus with one another. This open data, this open science is important 1000s of medical experts and researchers around the world from Canada to India are using this freely available, easily accessible information to uncover COVID-19 weaknesses and make life saving medicines and vaccines. Governments are using the scientific information to create policies that will help control the current pandemic and prevent future ones. It also means more informed citizens who act responsibly and debunk misinformation. So why is this news? Isn't research shared openly anyway? Can't a scientist in India simply google his Canadian colleagues work, access it and read it? Surely researchers are able to access each other's work, learn from one another, build on each other's findings and solve society's issues together. For that matter. Don't ordinary citizens whose taxes pay for research have free access to that work? No Deal? Listen, the reality is very different. Yes, your taxes do fund research questions. But unless you pay for it, you cannot access its answers. And unless you as a researcher are in a university whose library can afford subscription fees to research journals, you're out of luck.


Do listen to episodes two, and three. This was Episode One of a three part series on open access and the scholarly publishing industry. The series is a collaboration between Radio Western and Western Libraries.

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