Monday, September 26
Shadow

In Pursuit of *The One*

marlaYOU SIT down in front of your computer, determined to set out on the journey of discovering the forest of related researches you need to collate for your undergraduate research. Then you go on to Google Scholar, and scour through pages and more pages of researches just to enrich your RRLs collection.

Then you stumble upon what I call *The One*, that one study that is very much related or overwhelmingly similar to what you are planning to pursue, only to find out that you can only acquire a copy through either of these options: (1) Download the PDF version of the study after registering your credit card details (this, for my case, often spells “Abort mission!”); (2) Sign up for a five-, 10-, 15-, or even a 30-day trial and pay a hefty amount after that period; (3) Log-in to a particular journal database through your institution (which may or may not have access); (4) Contact the authors, explain to them your study and try to secure a copy (though there is no guarantee that they will hand it out for free); (5) View the entire study for a good five minutes (yes, some online databases went to great lengths); and (6) Opt to buy a copy for a certain amount that sure is way out of your league.

I must say all of these “options,” or “predicaments,” if you would opt to put it that way, could be heartbreaking, especially if your research is a little too complicated, and when you yourself have not figured things out—and the only way you can make sense of things is through *The One*.

More often that not, students of research like most of us in AB, have utilized the gold mine that is our University’s subscription to prestigious online journal databases in the world. I can remember a professor of mine emphasizing that these subscriptions cost the University millions of pesos every year, and we all could not believe that there really is a price to pay for the pursuit of knowledge.

However, sometimes even the subscription is not enough to supply our demands to more recent researches and research journals. It takes one Google search to know that petitions have been launched to ask owners and publishers of journal databases to give students all around the world an access to their knowledge portals at discounted, student-friendly rates, but, for most, their efforts prove futile.

In pursuit of *The One*, I found myself in web pages that slapped me with blinking pop-ups of discounts and promo rates for unbridled  access, and in websites that promised to take me to the paradise of research publications (the most famous one has a user interface for Russian users, so it just frustrated me even more), along with several other websites that have online archives of researches that are only available for students in first world countries.

Not that I am saying that acquisition of these published knowledge should be for free, as it took time and effort and even more than that just to come up with a credible research output. Many have put the pursuit of research “a birthing process” and there is immense joy after validating the knowledge one has worked so hard for.

However, as a student from a country who is in the process of gaining footing in global research discourse, I believe making these researches as easily available as possible could spell wonders for student researchers like me. Easier acquisition can take many forms; it could be in the form of marked down student rates, and of research aids or grants from publishers and between governments, among others.

But as for now, most of us are bound to hope for the best, that *The One* may take the form of a free PDF version, or just curl up in a corner and see *The One* become *The One that Got Away*. F

For comments and feedback, you may email the author at marcellipapas.theflame@gmail.com

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.