Open Access News

News from the open access movement

Thursday, September 14, 2006

Notes from the Jordan OA meeting

Rolf Kleef, Open Access To Knowledge, Corante, September 13, 2006.  Excerpt:

I have just returned from Amman, Jordan, working with the General Assembly of eIFL, a network of library consortia representing well over 3,000 libraries in almost 50 countries, serving over 8 million users. They do a lot of work on "Open Access", to make books and content available in countries in development and in transition. Advocacy work to make sure that authors have alternatives to giving up the rights to their own work, and the new role a librarian can have in dealing with such issues on behalf of research staff, while negotiating with the big publishers.

Paul Peters of Hindawi Publishing Corporation in Cairo explained how they have built a growing company out of material available under Creative Commons licenses, very much along the same lines as software companies produce open source software: the creator pays to make the initial version, after that the cost of reproduction is nearly zero.

The reasoning of Hindawi and Open Access: few authors are driven by a need (or possibility?) to create income from selling copies of their work. Most are writing to get maximum exposure of their ideas or research, so any barrier to distribution should be eliminated. Exposure will generate better opportunities to attract funding or better-yielding other engagements: jobs, speeches, project opportunities...