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> As usual, what you really want to do is read the paper:

An aside: If you are not reading Nature you may be missing out on a lot. I would guess the same applies to Science.

Only the back half of Nature is actual research papers, which often are indeed very slow going. The other half is science news written clearly - it's fascinating, not a chore at all - and with a level of knowledge and sophistication unmatched elsewhere (AFAIK), and most importantly it will completely change your perspective: There is a world of research and knowledge that you won't even know exists if you read the more 'popular' science press.

A little time reading Nature will save you much more time reading less informative publications.

If you read Nature and science papers, plan on reading the supplementary materials (typically 20-200 pages) where we are forced to put all the real science. And the online methods (a half measure spurred by outrage at the preceding).

Wouldn't want to waste words on silly shit like methods, references, discussions, etc in a CNS paper, would we?

LIGO doesn't even bother sending papers to Nature or science any more. The editors at both are unbearably pompous.

Agree. Nature News and Comment [1] is where I usually go first for my science news

- [1] http://www.nature.com/news/

At $199 a year it is extremely expensive. I remember I was paying close to $1,000 a year for the journal my 1,000 student college I work for.

Not including JSTOR and other subscriptions for these Journals. The bill 10 years ago was about $70,000 for journal access on computers where I had the print copies in boxes behind the journals or in the storage area collecting dust.

So how does someone not connected to a university get access to all this essential knowledge? Subscribing as an individual to JSTOR, etc. is far too expensive (thousands per year, I believe) and complicated. I don't want the administrative burden of my own research library.

The sarcastic answer: You have to pirate papers. There is a popular Russian hub for science papers that contains almost every paper ever published in the last couple of years. It is used by many academics.

Almost no organization can afford to pay for all the stores, so even universities have limited access in the sense that they can only offer their students and staff a limited selection of what is available. Subscription fees are too high, single journals are often only available in bundles with other journals/topics, increasing the price further. Publishers act as gatekeepers to (often publicly funded!) knowledge.

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