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“It’s so very broken.” Rachael Dunlop on the state of scholarly communications

Continuing the awesome Open Science Stars series, we spoke with Dr. Rachael Dunlop about her thoughts on scholarly communications. Rachael is such an awesome scientist, she has her own Wikipedia page!

Hi Rachael! Thanks for joining us here. Could you start off by letting us know a little bit about your background?

dr_rachie_qed2013
Rachael Dunlop at QED 2013 in Manchester UK. CC BY SA 3.0 (Source)

I was a late starter in science, having worked in graphic design and advertising as my first career. I went to uni aged 26 to get a science degree and emerged 8 years later with a PhD in Cell Biology. I originally planned to become a Virologist but my Microbiology lecturer was so awful, I switched to Toxicology. Funnily enough, I’d never done any Biology in high school so in first year uni, I had to borrow my sister’s year 12 text books to teach myself the basics of Biology – and now I’m a Biologist.

When did you first hear about open access and open science? What were your initial thoughts?

I can’t really recall but it would have been around the time I first started publishing and became aware that if you paid an exorbitant fee, then people could read your papers for free. Of course, researchers never ever have a spare USD3000 to throw around on publishing so it just always seemed out of my reach. It’s a great idea if you can afford it. As for open science, ideas are currency in research so there was never any discussion about participating in an open system.

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