Online Databases

Almost every university, at least those in the UK and the US, give students access to online databases to assist in their research. The databases, (such as JSTOR, Lexis-Nexis, and Project Muse) give students access to online journals which have been written, published, and peer reviewed by qualified scholarly sources. Students usually receive access to the databases through valid university email addresses and identification numbers. Without the access provided to theses databases through the universities, students would otherwise have to pay for subscription to separate scholarly journals, or even higher prices for access to a number of databases. Most of theses articles are published by scholarly journals through research conducted in a university, and many are peer reviewed as well. This entails strict copyright restrictions surrounding all use of and reference to the work, as well as all access to the work.

If the information published in online journals were under a Creative Commons Commons License, or if for example JSTOR decided to become a forum only for scholarly work which was under creative commons license, it would change the way that people are able to conduct research. It would allow people who don’t have access to a university education to conduct their own research or educate themselves through the published research of others.

However, if an online database such as JSTOR were to go under extremely strict copy right control it would almost defeat the purpose of universities giving students access to the peer reviewed articles published through it. If online databases were under such strict control it would make it harder or impossible for students and other academics to use the articles for their own research. This would stand in the way of students furthering their education, and could also impede the the furthering of research into certain fields.

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1 Comment

  1. Like you mentioned, JSTOR and other online databases are a huge resource for students. Professors always stress the importance that we should take advantage of these sources that the university pays tons of money to allow our access. If these sources were open to the commons, that would certainly make it easy for anyone to access these scholarly works. I think this would change the way people research in general, and maybe would allow for more reliable works instead of people referring to Wikipedia or unreliable sources when conducting research.

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