You know that moment when you are doing research for an essay for example, and you stumble upon an academic essay/journal with a title and an abstract that would be perfect for your essay but this is as far as you can get without paying? I hate that moment. While reading the abstract your imagination runs wild and it feels like your essay is already done* but then you look at the price. Nope, still researching. This doesn’t happen often though because our university has subscribed to many publications and we can find loads of academic writings for free.
If these academic writings that are under strict copyright control would be shared under a Creative Commons license and free of charge the readership numbers would rise significantly seeing as the price of a subscription is not affordable. This would be very helpful for students because they would have access to reliable information faster, instead of spending hours browsing through unreliable information online.
Looking at this from the writer’s point of view providing academic writings for free and not getting anything in return for his/her services might feel like wasted time and thought.If journals/papers were shared under a CC license, the risk of having their work stolen or tampered with might increase.
What do you think? Should academic writings be free of charge?
*Note: By no means do I mean plagiarizing.