I live in a third world country. I barely make ends meet so I cannot afford to go to college. However my passion for academics never died so I kept self learning with online materials. However beyond a certain level, free material is not sufficient and is hard to find so I end up relying on sci-hub and other websites. But sometimes the latest articles are not available even there so I have to search for hours in my spare time.
While sacrificing my sleep time and searching I found [a twitter post by Dr. Holly Witteman] that reads as follows:
That $35 that scientific journals charge you to read a paper goes 100% to the publisher, 0% to the authors. If you just email us to ask for our papers, we are allowed to send them to you for free, and we will be genuinely delighted to do so.
This post gave me hope that I could finally get my hands on articles that I was interested in. I found emails of four writers, politely asking them for a copy of their article. However I didn't get a single reply. I tried other email services because I thought my email might be blocked by spam filters. But that didn't change anything. Eight months later I have yet to hear back. Is the practice of freely giving out papers limited to the area Dr. Holly Witteman majors in? Is this not common at all and the doctor is a generous outlier? Is it that professors are so busy that they don't respond to random people's emails?
Also why do people write for journals in the first place if they really don't make a single penny out of their work and contribute to filling the pockets of greedy publishers and more paywalls? Is publicity so important that it is worth giving up all financial incentives?