Why Open Access Is Necessary for Makers
openacrs's bookmarks 2020-10-23
Open access to research is critical to the process of developing new things. Making the methods and results of research freely available to all preserves the ability to fruitfully investigate and improve upon existing methods and devices. The first step in fixing or improving a system is understanding how it works, and what the mechanisms at play are. Impediments like paywalls or subscriptions decrease the likelihood that research is shared, and results in a severe handicap to the innovation process. In his book Democratizing Innovation, MIT professor Eric von Hippel makes the case that if “innovations are not diffused, multiple users with very similar needs will have to invest to (re)develop very similar innovations, which would be a poor use of resources from the social welfare point of view.” If the purpose of academic research is to push the boundaries of human knowledge, there is no justifiable case to be made for restricting access to that knowledge.
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