Open Access News

News from the open access movement

Saturday, December 29, 2007

AIR converts to OA

The Annals of Improbable Research has converted to OA.  (Thanks to Wired News.)  From the announcement:

Welcome to the grand Improbable Research experiment. We are putting the entire magazine online for free.

Beginning with the current issue — vol. 13, no. 6, November/December 2007, the special Ig Nobel issue — the Annals of Improbable Research will be available online in three forms. Several years of back issues are also online (though not in quite as many forms).

Fear not. The magazine will also continue to be available in the best of all possible forms: traditional on-the-toilet-readable paper-and-ink....

Comment.  At the risk of being a wet blanket, let me point out AIR has to be serious about its business model even if it's not serious about anything else.  It's making new issues available in four forms:  priced print, priced hi-res PDF, free low-res PDF, and free HTML.  I don't know whether this system will pay the bills, and AIR probably doesn't either.  But I'm fascinated by it.  It lets AIR provide free online access to 100% of its new articles without embargoes, abridgments, or publication fees.  Is there any reason why "serious" journals shouldn't experiment with the same model?