Open Access News

News from the open access movement

Friday, April 18, 2008

The end of the toll-access journal

Steven Schwartz, The end of the scholarly journal, Campus Review, April 8, 2008.  (Thanks to Stevan Harnad.)  Schwartz is the Vice Chancellor of Macquarie University.  Only the first two sentences are free online, at least so far:

Academics in Harvard University’s Faculty of Arts and Sciences have voted unanimously to make their scholarly papers available on-line for free to anyone with an internet account. Although academics can opt out if they have a reason, on-line publication is the default option.

From the body of the article:

Australian funding agencies have not yet mandated open access but they are certainly moving in that direction....

Open access has the capacity to change all this [the journal pricing crisis].  The free exchange of information is a bedrock academic value, one that is supported by open access....

Open access is a step towards a digital world in which ideas and information could flow freely to anyone on earth.  But it is not the only step....

Because of the influence exerted by Harvard, the example that its academics have set is sure to spread.  Other universities will make similar commitments and some day, not long off, the last printed journal will roll off the printing press.  This will not be a sad occasion but a happy one because it will mean that scholarly work will be freely available to everyone.

Update. An abridged version of the text is OA on Schwartz's blog.