The American Physical Society (APS) announces a new public access initiative that will give high school students and teachers in the United States full use of all online APS journals, from the most recent articles back to the first issue in 1893, a collection including over 400,000 scientific research papers. APS will provide access to its journals, Physical Review Letters, Physical Review, and Reviews of Modern Physics, at no cost, as a contribution to public engagement with the ongoing development of scientific understanding.
The high school program is a natural follow on to last summer's offering to U.S. public libraries. "When we made our journals freely available to public libraries, we were happily surprised to receive requests for access from high schools as well," said APS Publisher Joseph Serene. "We are now delighted to share our journals and their archive with interested secondary school students and teachers."
While this is a nice gesture, I am not sure to what extent these journals are useful, either to the teachers or the students. I think journals such as Physical Review Special Topics - Physics Education Research, which is already available as an open source, would be more useful to educators/teachers. The AIP could provide journals such as the American Journal of Physics for free, and that would also be useful. But PRL? PRA, PRB, etc.? I don't see how these are useful in general.
If you are a high school student or teachers and have needed to access these journals, I would love to hear what you are doing.