Open Access News

News from the open access movement

Friday, April 16, 2004

OA to gray literature

Marcus Banks, Connections between open access publishing and access to gray literature, Journal of the Medical Library Association, April 2004. Excerpt: "The potential of open access publication to increase accessibility to peer-reviewed literature is cause for celebration. As we celebrate, we should not lose sight of the longstanding challenge of providing better access to the gray literature that provides an essential complement to peer-reviewed findings. We do not need to launch an open access movement to obtain this material, due to its lack of commercial significance. Instead, the challenge is to develop bibliographic resources of comparable depth as those available for the peer-reviewed literature....Despite the challenges ahead, open access will inevitably become the norm for scholarly communication. In the print-only era, publishers provided the indispensable function of distribution. In an electronic age, this indispensability is no longer true. Once a critical mass of scholars publishes in open access journals, their colleagues will follow. This is the time when viable business models for open access publishing will emerge....Just as open access to clinical literature is only possible in an online era, the CNLP's research highlights the power of computers to improve access to gray literature. Health sciences librarians should perceive these challenges as opposite sides of the same coin: open access removes economic barriers, and improved indexing of gray literature removes bibliographic barriers."