Open Access News

News from the open access movement

Monday, March 24, 2008

J of Neuro-Ophthalmology debates OA

The March issue of the Journal of Neuro-Ophthalmology is now online.  This issue has three OA-related pieces, none of them OA, at least so far:

  • Gale A. Oren, The Crisis in Scholarly Publishing: Open Access to the Rescue?  An editorial.  No abstract.  Excerpt:  Authors reporting the results of NIH-funded research will need to comply with the forthcoming public access mandate. Regardless of the source of funding, they should look beyond getting their work published and take into consideration how accessible it will be to the scientific community after publication....Readers of the biomedical literature rightly expect to have extensive access to electronic journals in their areas of interest. Open access, in one form or other, is the best way to meet these expectations.
  • Allyson Mower and Mary E. Youngkin, Expanding Access to Published Research: Open Access and Self-Archiving.  Abstract:   Academic libraries traditionally provide access to the life science journal literature for their respective institutions by purchasing annual subscriptions to journals. However, with skyrocketing subscription prices and decreased or flattened library budgets, fewer journals are being purchased. This trend results in diminished access to the literature for members of that institution. Open access and self-archiving are possible solutions to this crisis.
  • Erin McMullan, Open Access Mandate Threatens Dissemination of Scientific Information.  Abstract:   The public good is served when researchers can most easily access current, high-quality research through articles that have undergone rigorous peer review and quality control processes. The free market has allowed researchers excellent access to quality research articles through the investment of societies and commercial publishers in these processes for publication of scholarly journals in a wide variety of specialty and subspecialty areas. Government legislation mandating "open access" to copyrighted articles through a government Web site could result in a reduction of financially sustainable peer-reviewed journals and a reduction in the overall quality of articles available as publishers, societies, and authors are forced to hand over their intellectual property or restrict the peer review process because of lost sales opportunities. The public is best served when the work of researchers advances science to its benefit. If researchers have fewer current resources, diminished quality control, or access to fewer trusted peer-reviewed journals, the public could ultimately lose more than it could gain from open access legislation.

Update.  Also see Heather Morrison's comments on Erin McMullan's article.  For my own comments on McMullan, see my article from September 2007, Will open access undermine peer review?