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Covid-19 pushes Australian research openness

Open-access publishing gains momentum amid unprecedented pandemic-driven changes to academia

The open-access debate has been bubbling away in academia’s cloistered hallways for some time. But an existential threat to the human race in the shape of Covid-19 has given a major boost to those who believe research papers should be free to all to read, and nothing should be kept behind pricey journal paywalls.

As researchers shared preliminary results and data on pre-print servers, and journals made free coronavirus-related content they would normally charge for, the research community proved how quickly ground-breaking discoveries can be made under the right conditions. 

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