For the past few days I've been trying to find a measurable definition for "energy levels". Not in terms of physics, but in terms of "Today I just don't have the energy to work.", or "I always get so sleepy after lunch and can't get anything done".
Everyone knows their energy levels fluctuate through the day, but that's not good enough. For Why programmers work at night, I wanted to find what these mythical energy levels are exactly.
The term I was looking for was "mental energy".
Excitement abounds! After days of fussing, I finally know what to search for!
Giddily I discovered research on mental energy is alive and busy. A lot of articles published in the last few years, all of them looking very relevant to what I'm interested in.
But I think scientific publishers don't want me to cite original research in my work. Can anything else explain the ridiculous paywalls they have in place?
Out of some 20 interesting articles I found, only six had free pdf's available online. And of those, only two or three were easily available.
After numerous citation pages with nothing more than an abstract posted, I have culled my list down to four really great sounding articles with the total cost of $207. **$207 for 4 articles.**
- Sensitivity to Change in Cognitive Performance and Mood Measures of Energy and Fatigue in Response to Differing Doses of Caffeine or Breakfast - \\\\$86 for 19 pages
- Cognitive methods for assessing mental energy - \\\\$48 for 14 pages
- Mental Energy - \\\\$31 for 4 pages
- The Effects of Ginseng, Ephedrine, and Caffeine on Cognitive Performance, Mood and Energy - \\\\$42 for 4 pages
$6.5 per page on average.
\\\\$6.5 per page!
I understand these publishers have small sales volumes, but this is beyond ridiculous. Who even buys these things? Universities?
That's nice I guess. But I'm not part of a university. I'm writing the book independently and on a shoe-string budget. But I am not welcome in the ivory tower of academia.
Keep this in mind next time you complain about the poor state of scientific reporting in the media.
Outsiders are not welcome.
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