What If All Research Papers Were Free?

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A graduate student from Kazakhstan is providing free online access to virtually every scientific paper ever published on her website. Journal publishers are not happy about it.

A graduate student from Kazakhstan is being compared to Edward Snowden.

It's true, they have a few things in common: both have leaked a large number of documents to the public, and it's rumored that both are laying low in Russia.

But Kazakhstan's Alexandra Elbakyan didn't leak government intelligence - she went through every subscription-based scholarly service that she had access to as a student and made those articles freely available online, as an act of protest against the soaring costs of journal access.

With the price of journal subscriptions rising twice as fast as the price of health care in the past two decades, Peter Suber, director of the Harvard Office for Scholarly Communication, discusses whether research papers should be free and accessible to everyone or whether scientific research benefits from a subscription model.