Andrew Albanese interviewed me for the July 24 issue of Library Journal Academic Newswire. Excerpt:
LJ: Let's first address the Public Library of Science (PLoS). Is it important to tout the open access issue, as they are doing, to the general public through a public awareness campaign?
PS: If money and energy were very tight, there would be more important audiences to address with this message --for example, researchers, librarians, university administrators, professional societies, publishers, and foundations. But when we can, we should fight on all fronts at once and addressing the general public with this message does matter. First, there are many fairly obvious ways that Congress and federal funding agencies can help the cause of open access. One legitimate way to get their attention is to awaken voters. Second, taxpayers have a proper concern that their money be spent in the public interest. If their money supports research and publications to which they -- and the doctors, nurses, hospital staff, and medical researchers working on their behalf-- have no access without a second payment, then they should be told that this happening. In the long run, taxpayer support for corrective measures may matter more than anyone else's. Third, the general public is the ultimate beneficiary of open access. I don't want to go over the top, but open access is not a small matter about the economics of journal publishing. It's about sharing knowledge, and sharing knowledge is one of the conditions of civilization. The general public should definitely be concerned about it.
Peter Suber at 7/25/2003 08:54:00 AM.
The open access movement:
Putting peer-reviewed scientific and scholarly literature
on the internet. Making it available free of charge and
free of most copyright and licensing restrictions.
Removing the barriers to serious research.