I hope everyone is having a great day. While I have a few minutes, I thought I would posit a few random thoughts.
Over 100 Views in a Day
The good news is that my blog received 101 views yesterday; it is the first time I have ever had 100 or more visits in a day. The bad news--well, most of those visits were from SPAM bots. In fact, at least 80-90 of the visitors were probably not human. Oh well, at least I had a moment to enjoy the number before the reality set in (that my visitors were not "real people").
Oh, How I Wish Academic Journals Were Open Source
If I ever strike it rich, I will likely donate to several causes, including funding scholarships for my undergraduate institution (Roanoke College), sending money to the SENS Foundation (research on aging and age related diseases), and creating a trust that buys academic journals and provides them free of charge for public viewing.
In the late 1800s and into the 1900s (if I recall, perhaps someone with a better knowledge of American history will help me out on this one), philanthropists donated millions of dollars to help fund the building of new libraries. One of their chief goals (and the most altruistic one) was to provide everyone (well, almost everyone), whatever their station in life, with access to knowledge. The philanthropists believed that people needed ready access to information/knowledge if they were to be able to carry out their duties as citizens.
In the same way, I think it is vital that the public have ready access to the information stored in peer reviewed journals. They may sometimes need to review this information if they are going to make a well-reasoned decision on an issue which is dear to them or which impacts their lives. Granted, many people may never even make use of this information; however, some individuals will utilize it, especially when they believe that none of the advocates for a certain issue are being straightforward with them. People might also want to review information in a journal when they procure unbiased information from news sources and they are unsure which Internet blogs or sites to trust.
How about a fictional real world example: I want to determine whether the local natural gas company's fracking plans will provide a net benefit to my community. I listen to both sides discuss the issue at the local town council meeting. The gas company uses an article in a peer reviewed journal to support its case that fracking is safe and environmentally friendly; I want to back-check the company's claims, so I look-up the article on-line, and learn that it would cost me $65.00 to purchase it--ouch. I check with my local library, but it doesn't carry a subscription to that article and doesn't have the resources to procure a copy for me. I ask the gas company, but I get nowhere....Hmm, wouldn't life be better (and wouldn't it be easier for me to fulfill my role as a good citizen) if the journal was open source.
Clip Art courtesy of Microsoft Office.