Freeing The Prisoners Of NASA

Michael Hiltzik | Los Angeles Times | October 7, 2013

You could place Michael Eisen in the same league as Aaron Swartz.

Like the late Swartz, who campaigned for free public access to government publications and academic papers, UC Berkeley biologist Eisen is one of the genuine pioneers of open-access academic publishing. That's the notion that scientific papers should be made available free to researchers and the community at large, rather than hidden behind the expensive paywalls of profitable scientific journals. 

Last week Eisen took his battle to NASA, which submitted the first papers to come out of the Jet Propulsion Laboratory's popular Mars Curiosity rover project to Science magazine, which charged the public as much as $20 a day to access them. This after taxpayers ponied up $2.5 billion to send the Curiosity to Mars. The outcome? Eisen won, and so does the public.