So I’m a science nerd. But now I’m not part of a university I've been completely cut off from the scientific community. Journals are behind paywalls and conferences are way too expensive for me to attend! Why is it so difficult to do independent science?

@ohuu One of the reasons I started QOTO was to do open science.. i wish we could address some of those concerns. Best I can offer is the resources of our servers for you, always willing to add more.

@freemo that's awesome to hear! So glad Qoto exists!

@ohuu I always wanted to add an open-access journal to our services but frankly im just not sure id be able to populate it or have the man power to review it.

@ohuu This may not be much of a help but if you have public library access you may have access to journal databases. Also universities may allow alumni access. This could at least help with the paywall issue.

@SandyKendell just checked my old Uni to see what the deal is for Alumni. Seems like I do have access! Thanks for the suggestion!

@ohuu I sympathize! I suspect that you already use it, but in case you don't is an essential resource for the academically unaffiliated.

@johnnylogic I've heard of it but haven't started using it yet. Is it safe to use?

@ohuu This is a complicated question. It depends on the level of risk you are willing to take on, what measures you use, and your own perspective on the service and its ethics. Here is a thread exploring a bit of it:

@johnnylogic I support what Sci-Hub is doing so the ethics question is a simple one for me. Just not sure if it'll land me in trouble.

@johnnylogic @ohuu j
John, I was not aware, what a wonderful resource, thank you.

@johnnylogic People forget all he did, and what he wanted to do. @ohuu

@ohuu What's "independent science"? Infrastructure is not for free, indeed. That said, depending on subject, there are services like ADS and for physics and astronomy the preprint server arxiv. Similar exists afaik for medicin (pubmed), and possibly similar for other sciences (dunno). If you have an abstract it's also always an option to contact the authors.

@planetmaker it's just science done outside of a university or other scientific institution. It's difficult to be part of those communities if you're not affiliated with them.

@ohuu that’s why I like the movement. Paywalling doesn’t just hinder private citizens though science altogether. Like e.g. the COVID-19 pandemic was mainly able to get under control, because most if not all papers were open. Imagine what kind of scientific progress we could achieve if this was the case for all papers.

With open science we could create our own science experiments, financed by private people for a good purpose similar to the open source movement. Also anyone can contribute to such projects if they are knowledgeable enough.

Getting into journals is a very expensive matter and seems like the only way academia can survive. It also is just a big fan club. You only really succeed if you are part of the club. One could say it’s a different level of influencer status.

@ohuu, because academia is organized like a feudal society, with senior academics and academic publishers jealously guarding their exclusive right to assign credit and the right to commericalization
(which, unsurprisingly, goes largely to the folks in control).

@ohuu journals publish abstracts. You can use these to get the papers for free.
Usually academics are pretty easy to track down and if you email them to ask for their papers, the vast majority are delighted to send it to you. They don't like their research stuck behind paywalls either.

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