For non-scientists, like most of us, you might be able to get your hands on the paper after it gets passed around to people dressed in white coats.
According to Dr. Melba Ketchum's publicist, Sally Ramey, the people with first dibs on the paper will be those scientists specialized in that specific field who are already subscribed to the journal.
Us common folks won't completely be left out in the dark though. Depending how hard you search, you might be able to find a copy of the paper at your local college or university library.
Sally posted this on Dr. Ketchum's public Facebook page earlier today:
Just anticipating a question about when the DNA study is out, based on discussions I see on other sites. I know there are some folks out there who want to pour over every single word of Melba's paper. However, most scientific journals do NOT publish the entire contents of papers online. If they did, then there would be no incentive for scientists to subscribe to them.
Contrary to one blog's assumptions, leaking info about a paper does NOT increase "sales" as they are not available for sale like a magazine, and no one subscribes to them just because of one paper.
Whenever Melba's paper is published, unless you already have a subscription to the journal, you will not be able to get a copy. Think of these as trade publications for scientists. People outside of the field just don't subscribe to them. And there are dozens of journals that are discipline-specific. A chemist is not going to subscribe to a statistics journal, for example. So, you may have a scientist friend, but that doesn't mean that they will subscribe to the right journal(s) for you to bum a copy.
The most you will see on the journal's public Web site may only be the abstract, which is like an executive summary of the paper, the authors, and sometimes an excerpt. The journal may provide an image or two. However, the news release will include a simplified explanation of the science, which will be more palatable to the lay reader and will include all the "good stuff."
The only thing you'd really miss in the news release is the "hard stuff" that only a geneticist, bioinformatics specialist or forensic scientist like Melba would understand in great detail. Remember, the audience for Melba's paper is other scientists, not people like us, so the paper will contain information and terminology so far over our heads that it might as well be in a different language.
So, what is a BF hobbyist supposed to do if you REALLY want to dive into the "hard stuff?"
Locate your nearest college or university library and familiarize yourself with their periodicals. Most institutions subscribe to most of the key journals. Research universities subscribe to the most. Some provide a handy-dandy list online of what they have. Find out if you can go to the library and access the journal's Web site from a school computer with the library's account, giving you full access to the paper. Some might let you access the school's wireless Web service from your laptop with a guest account. If they won't let you (since you're not a student, faculty or staff member - different places have different policies), then find out when they expect delivery of a hard copy of that issue of the journal. At that point. you'll just have to wait for it. I cannot guess as to the photocopy policies at these libraries for public visitors - you'll just have to ask. You'll also have to find out if you are allowed to check it out or not. You may only be able to read it and take notes from it while on site.
If you work at a college or university, you should be able to use your library's account to access the Web site. I'm not sure about high schools - some of the magnet or science-focused high school libraries might have accounts. And I do believe that some public libraries might have journal subscriptions but you would have to check.
A word of caution the BF groups, FB groups, chat sites and blogs: The journals frown upon copyright infringement and WILL prosecute. You will NOT get away with posting the paper (or even portions of it) on your site, because full papers are ONLY available through PAID SUBSCRIPTION. I do not think that any of the BF groups, FB groups, chat sites and blogs would qualify for "fair use" because you are NOT official news media, nor educational organizations. You can post the abstract, the news release and anything else that is available to the public, but NOT THE FULL PAPER. Melba and her authors will also have copyright and will defend it. So if you do obtain and post the paper or portions that are subscription only, and you end up in legal trouble, you can't say that I didn't warn you.
REPRINTS - Any scientist reading this knows that some journals offer reprints of the paper to the authors, for a fee. It's not cheap. I think the last one I priced out was $8 for a two-page paper. IF IF IF --- emphasis on IF --- we can make reprints available to the public, for a fee, we will let you know. If not, we'll let you know that we did did ask.
Again, this is a highly unusual situation because of the large number of hobbyists with intense interest in the subject, so I'm trying my best to familiarize you with the world of scientific paper publication so you'll understand what's going on.
- Sally Ramey