Read the full post at Scholarly Kitchen.
Almost every day, my email or Twitter feed brings an alert to a “free” report, article, white paper, etc. No payment or subscription required!
It sounds great. In many ways it is the promise of the Internet fulfilled, a world in which a single click brings you the document you are seeking for immediate review or even a deep read.
The reader experience, however, is quite often not exactly that. Instead of a paywall, perhaps to be negotiated through a proxy server or some other authentication mechanism, the reader is faced with a demand for their contact information. Or, even more demanding, they face a requirement to create an account. Use of that account will be tracked and the data fed into an analytics system, likely joined up with data collected elsewhere as well.
Yes, dear reader, in such cases, you have been datawalled.