Selling Research Papers

Selling Research Papers-82
Microsoft researcher Danah Boyd angrily closed her account, saying she could never trust Elsevier; researcher David Weinberger, of Harvard’s Berkman Center for Internet & Society, said he’ll close his account too.

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Mendeley, founded in late 2008 by three tech-savvy scholars, had become a sort of rebel-scientist icon for producing a software-and-paper-sharing service that threatened to disrupt scholarly publishing in the way that Napster and had disrupted the music industry a few years earlier.

Elsevier, on the other hand, is infamous for restricting the flow of scientific information so it can sell research papers for as much as fifty dollars a piece, generating profit margins of thirty-six per cent and netting the company billions of dollars in revenue annually.

The Direct Selling Education Foundation, through its association with accomplished academics, promotes the development of scholarly work about the direct selling channel.

Through a combination of data compilation, professional connections and funding, the DSEF is committed to the production of research which illuminates the realities of direct selling as a method of distribution.

The company has fought legislation designed to open up academic research, offered scholars money to file positive reviews, sued libraries for oversharing, and allegedly published fake journals on behalf of the pharmaceuticals industry.

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So Mendeley’s sale to Elsevier struck many as a betrayal.These are working papers whose authors will further develop.When scholarly publishing behemoth Elsevier gobbled up London software start-up Mendeley earlier this week, many Mendeley users felt as if the Galactic Empire had coöpted the Rebel Alliance.Now, even though the Internet provides a faster, freer, more flexible way to share, discuss, and archive scientific findings and ideas, the business infrastructure built around that print model still dominates and constrains the sharing of scientific information.The research paper, created as a conduit for information, has become a bottleneck.Mendeley is still growing, with two million three hundred thousand users sifting through over a hundred million references.Their use patterns reveal who is reading what, which papers are popular, what lines of research are surging, which disciplines and journals are crucial, and a lot of other extremely valuable information.“I don’t want my search patterns to help Elsevier sell me closed science,” she said. Former Mendeley employee Jason Hoyt, however, was not surprised.Hoyt, a young onetime geneticist out of Stanford, had moved to London in 2010 to serve as Mendeley’s vice president of research and development.This research is at the heart of the Foundation’s mission of spreading information and education on direct selling, and provides value to direct selling companies that benefit from scholarly investigation into the channel.Below are the submissions chosen as Best Papers for USASBE Minority and Women Entrepreneurship Special Interest Group (SIG) paper competition.


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