I've just read a number of posts about MIT's decision to cancel their subscription to the Society of Automotive Engineers’ web-based database of technical papers. I've groused about both SAE's control based approach to their content, and to a lesser extent the IEEE. Shouldn't government funded research be freely available? This blog is my small attempt to encourage the "knowledge should be free" movement. Companies should be paid for products that add context and value to basic knowledge, but the knowledge itself should be available. Let me explain:
- Many engineering research companies subscribe to Engineering Information Village's Compendex database. At it's most basic level, Compendex is just a database of engineering research abstracts. However, Engineering Village enhances the value with add-in's like tagging.
- If one knows how to do research, the same basic data found within Compendex is available via Google Scholar, and other sources. Here are examples ... these are both screencasts I created:
In summation, I hope that web collaboration trends & tools will eventually spell doom to the closed access approach. Here are two final examples ... from the world of wikis (both from wikia.com). Both wikis are in their early stages:
Finally, my initial reference points for this blog entry were: