Open Access News

News from the open access movement

Monday, November 10, 2003

Willinsky on nine flavors of OA

John Willinsky, The Nine Flavours of Open Access Scholarly Publishing, Journal of Postgraduate Medicine, 49, 3 (2003) pp. 263-267. A very useful survey of nine ways to provide open-access, with nine business models to match. Excerpt: "Now, the assumption here is not [that] information is, or somehow wants to be, free. Anything but. Open access begins with the fact that researchers are engaged in expensive, labour-intensive work that often employs highly sophisticated equipment, fully equipped and staffed laboratories. Researchers fly to distant archives and remote sites; they hire teams of graduate student research assistants; they devote years to studying a single body of work. Much of this work is underwritten by public institutions, government grants, and philanthropic endowments. The very extent of this largely public investment is what sets scholarly publishing apart from the more typical commercial model. The work represented in a research article has all been paid for in advance. The article arrives at the publisher's door, having already been financed, up to that point, as a public good."