Open Access News

News from the open access movement

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Peter Cochrane calls for OA

Peter Cochrane, Are we destined to repeat history?, June 13, 2007.  Cochrane is the former CTO and Head of Research at BT.  Excerpt:

Throughout my professional career I have relied on professional journals and publications as my primary sources of refereed information for the reporting of scientific and engineering results. But this old world of open corroboration and reference seems to be retreating real fast....

I have to confess I...tend to increasingly look upon most professional journals as the irrelevant preserve of the academic and technologically introverted communities.

How did this happen? The professional institutions have been the laggards in a world where they preached change. They have stuck with and protected the old paper publications and refereed system. They have also promoted closed and exclusive websites. But the world has moved on with everything biased toward the open and fast moving.

The only way these professional groups can reclaim the high ground is to digitise their extensive libraries from the past, provide open access to everyone and migrate to a faster publishing and review regime. Will they do it? I hope so but I don't see it happening! They are mostly made up of old minds with a vested interest in preserving the past.

So what will happen? I think the bifurcation of the old and new will accelerate. And for sure the old doesn't have much time. The good news is that repeating some of the work from the past using the latest technology and techniques might just reveal things that were missed or misunderstood the first time around.