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During this past month Rupert Murdoch’s News Ltd have begun to exclude non paying visitors to The Times web site. While there have been no official figures from New Ltd, The Guardian reports that the Times has lost almost “90% of its online readership” see - http://www.guardian.co.uk/media/2010/jul/20/times-paywall-readership. People are voting with their feet or their mouse in this case. It should be noted that The Guardian’s content is free.

In a similar vein the Chronicle of Higher Education on the 8th of June reported that The University of California were proposing to boycott Nature Publishing Group’s journals due a huge increase in subscription fees. The issue has been very succinctly put by Peter Suber in the SPARC Open Access Newsletter, issue #147 July 2, 2010 g. This article is very enlightening so please take the time to read it. The fact that a publisher, who’s content, is in the main, sourced from material emanating from publicly funded research institutes then sold back to the institutes with a very considerable mark up is outrageous.

The moral, don’t be afraid to ask that your published work be made available on open access and “Don’t sign your rights away!”

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