Help! Is there someone out there who can save me hours of research by explaining how I allowed this to happen to myself? Or how this happened to me?
Here we go: Back in 1991 I submitted an article to the Journal of Popular Culture. To do so, I became a member of The Popular Culture Association and thus received a subscription to the journal.
My article, “Pets and Lovers: The Human-Companion Animal Bond in Contemporary Literary Prose” was published in 1991, the Summer issue, I think.
I wanted to check something in it the other day, and instead of rummaging through the piles, I thought, I’ll just look online.
I have no academic affiliation. If I did, I could log in through my university and read my own work. That isn’t an option.
Moreover, because of W & Co., I can’t even get on the card catalog, let alone access electronic journals, at the tax-supported state university down the street these days. I’m not talking only about remotely access journals. I can’t see them in person as well. Some act about protecting our freedoms has led to this absurdity. At least I can still get in the building, but I don’t know how long that will last. [If a library is a repository of government documents, it must allow public access to that area at least–or so it was pre-W, anyway.]
But I do have two options to access my own work, for which I received no payment:
I can pay Blackwell/Wiley InterScience $29.95 to have access to my article for 24 whole hours!!!! What a deal! Mind you, this $29.95 gains me a look only at my 14-page contribution, not the entire journal issue in which it appeared.
$29.95. Once more, $29.95.
Thud Thud Thud: that’s the sound of my head banging on the desk edge.
Or I can purchase a year’s membership to The Popular Culture Association for $55 and be able to read any article I want in any of the journal’s issues for a year. Blackwell/Wiley InterScience handles the subscription.
Now I ask you:
1. Did I in 1990 or 1991 really give up all my rights? Did I agree, or more to the point, how could I have agreed to restricting electronic access to my essay?
2. What value is Blackwell/Wiley InterScience adding to justify charging anyone $29.95 for one day’s access to my work? Who gets this money and why? I can tell you one person who will never see a cent: the creator of the work.
3. How can Blackwell/WileyScience have the audacity to charge $29.95 for someone to look at 13 pages for one day when there is the option of seeing a whole lot more for a year for $55 (if you are lucky enough to find this out)?
Can anyone help me understand this?