Open Access News

News from the open access movement

Friday, February 16, 2007

FreeCulture responds to the WashPost

Gavin Baker, Let the Light Shine In, Washington Post, February 16, 2007.  A letter to the editor.  Baker is the Open Access Director at

The Feb. 9 news story "Research-Result Battle Now Pits PR 'Pit Bull' Against Barbie Blenders" was a good example of how easy it is to obscure an important issue. By playing up colorful but irrelevant imagery, the story missed the point that students have a critical stake in expanding access to taxpayer-funded research.

Because our futures will be shaped by science, we believe it is wrong to keep publicly funded, peer-reviewed research results locked in expensive journals. The Internet is the ideal way to share scientific advances quickly, broadly and economically. The National Day of Action for Open Access yesterday was designed to build awareness of this opportunity at colleges across the country.

The article said that I declined to reveal details of's plans for the National Day of Action. In fact, I said that we would have speakers, discussion panels and tables providing information about the issue to engage students in this important public debate. We think that when they are presented with the evidence, students will agree that the status quo isn't working.

We use creative means to encourage our fellow students to think about current affairs. However, political theater is not needed to make a point this time. The merits of public access to federally funded research speak for themselves.

PS:  Exactly.  For background, see my blog post on the original article and how it catered to the AAP's new campaign of media messaging.