Fri, 02/03/2023 - 20:31
Often I will want to read journal articles such as the following: https://www.nature.com/articles/nature15527 . The preview will say "Access through your institution". Does the AAVSO provide access to such papers for its members?
This didn't get addressed, so I'll offer some comments. For commercial journals still behind a paywall, getting subscriptions and especially access to journal archives can be very expensive. This is almost certainly not something the AAVSO wants to do for members. Many of the main European and US astro journals are now open-access --- specifically AJ, ApJ, PASP, PSJ, A&A, MNRAS. This has come about partly by governmental mandate: if public funds are being used for the science, then the results need to be publicly available. "Nature" is not one of those journals, but not a lot of stuff appears there. Even so, cognizant of this, folks will submit e-prints of such articles to the arXiv.org server now hosted at Cornell Univ in the US:
...so often stuff that ends up difficult to access once published is posted on 'astro-ph'.
Unfortunately, the subscription costs to provide journal access to our members is beyond the present means of the AAVSO. Authors will often publish preprints of their papers on ArXiv, their personal websites, or other locations. NASA's ADS server is also a location to find papers. Some authors will also share their papers if you ask. I would recommend looking online first using one of these search engines:
"Your mileage may vary", as they say. But my local university (University of Calgary, in Alberta) has delightful scheme whereby if I present suitable id, they will give me temporary login credentials that let me sign in to their public computers, and access anything they have digital subscriptions for. I usually go up there once a year or so, with a list of papers to download. All without being a registered student, or even providing credentials showing I was a student there at one time.