A recent story featured at NPR airs the point that expensive journals are “driving” academics to break copyright law. The story actually goes on to cast this practice in a justifying light. Not only is this inaccurate reporting , it is terribly misguided. The story further suggests that the authors of the journal articles, who are not paid for their contributions, are somehow victimized by this process, as well. Yet contributors benefit in ways whose value far outstrips the few hundred dollars that are otherwise typical of such compensations. There are a great many reasons why researchers continue to seek publication in these prestigious journals
That said, we do appreciate the high cost of access. And yes, there are aspects of the scholarly publishing model that are in need of improvement. We also get that researchers need access to a hundred or more journals, and that bearing their costs can be a real burden. Especially for the smaller firms. Perhaps this latter point is why many biopharma companies consider themselves “too small” to have to worry about copyright: they believe they can fly under the radar. Just the opposite is true. The fact is case law is growing rapidly in this arena, and so the smarter organizations are wisely banning this practice through their governance policies.
Part of the problem stems from expectations that tend to get established in academia. In smaller companies, the ratio of people coming directly from academia into a corporate environment for the first time is high. In fact, many of these companies originate in academia, and it’s not uncommon for R&D staff to be professors. In a university environment, a certain amount of “sharing” is the norm. But once the line is crossed from not-for-profit academia into the for-profit corporate world, all bets are off: copyright becomes a real issue, and infringement can introduce significant risk.
Other ways researchers work around access difficulties include rounding up shared online alumni accounts to get free full-text access, or dashing off to the university library in an effort to save money. The problem is that they invariably end up wasting valuable time, spending more (time is money), and getting less (which articles are you not getting?). In the end, these approaches cost more than they save, and they introduce substantial risk in the bargain.
So what is a researcher to do?
The good news is that there is a better way—a way that will save time, money, and legal grief. Literature is the oil of the research industry. Consequently, researchers need unfettered and on-demand access to keep the research machine running smoothly and effectively.
What if you could get all the research access you need at the lowest cost of ownership, while also ensuring that your organization remains in auditable copyright and regulatory compliance? These are the very challenges we set out to solve for the small- to medium-sized biopharma company. And to these ends, we created an on-demand research delivery solution that will not only help you succeed, but succeed faster. We’d welcome the opportunity to show you how it works.