(Maybe it is common knowledge and I am the only one who has missed it, but maybe it is not. If the latter, this can be useful information for somebody else, too…)
I spent some time yesterday scanning through some papers of the latest issues of the Journal of Web Semantics. I could do that relatively easily, because I happen to be employed by a research institute (CWI, in Amsterdam), which pays hefty price to access the digital library of Elsevier. This means I could download and print the papers I was interested in without problems. However, what is with those in the community who do not happen to work at a university or a research institute? Why isn’t JWS online? The subscription price for the journal is €77 per year; not a huge amount of money, maybe, but a significant sum nevertheless for a private person.
However, after some searching, I was pleasantly surprised to find out that Elsevier has a preprint server for JWS up and running. Still in beta (I had some temporary access problems today, for example), but it works well and most of the papers I was interested in are downloadable in PDF (the format is not necessarily the same as the final journal print, but who cares?). It is good to see that access of the JWS papers are not restricted to institutionalized researchers only, but they are accessible to everyone alongside the papers of conferences like ISWC or WWW…
(In case you only see the blog item somewhere but not the comments: it is worth looking at them. Jim Hendler corrected me on the preprint server: it turns out not to be Elsevier’s. My mistake or, rather, lack of knowledge… — IH, 2008-07-02)