Open Access News

News from the open access movement

Monday, January 12, 2004

David Botstein on OA

Zachary Zimmerman, Learning the Language of Systems Biology, BioIT World, December 15, 2003. An interview with Princeton geneticist David Botstein.

Q: At Stanford you were involved in the Public Library of Science. What is the future of scientific research being available to the public?

A: When PLOS began, I was still editor-in-chief of Molecular Biology of the Cell, and my support for PLOS was mirrored by the policies of the American Society of Cell Biology. What I [share] is the belief that...all the research that is published, done with public money, ought to be publicly available. I think it's a proposition that speaks for itself. If it's required that the eager beavers get data a few months before everybody, I think that is an acceptable compromise. Let's say three months out, we all agree that everything should be public. As an aside, I rarely read any paper the moment it comes out. If I get to it within three months it's a miracle! So I guess I don't see it as big a problem as everybody else does. At the same time many studies suggest that the economic value of the journal and exclusivity to the journal decays after three to five months to nothing, and therefore this should not be as contentious an issue as it seems to be....I am a big supporter of PLOS.

(Thanks to Jason Bobe.)