Open Access News

News from the open access movement

Monday, October 27, 2003

ALPSP statement on open access

ALPSP has issued a public statement on open access. (It is dated August 27, 2003, but was released today.) Here it is in its entirety.
ALPSP is wholly in favour of maximizing access to research literature; the various proposals for achieving this (e.g. Open Access journals, institutional repositories, self-archiving), however, raise complex economic, logistical and sociological questions which differ from field to field as well as between different sizes and types of publishers. Much more information needs to be gathered through experimentation and analysis; ALPSP therefore welcomes the establishment of journals with different economic models for open access in order that the benefit to scholars and the long-term stability and viability of these models can be assessed.

I applaud this statement. There are stronger endorsements of open access, but ALPSP supports the goal and it supports exploration of the best ways to achieve the goal. The call for more information is reasonable and addresses the concerns of many publishers who see the benefits of open access but who also want to steer their enterprises safely through these half-charted waters. I appreciate the way the statement encourages society publishers to experiment with open access for themselves rather than wait for others to provide the data. ALPSP is now closer to open access than many of its members, and we can hope that this act of leadership will inspire a wave of creative new experiments.