Open Access News

News from the open access movement

Wednesday, April 30, 2008

OA for landmark articles from PRL

The American Physical Society is providing retroactive OA to the most important papers published during the past 50 years by Physics Review Letters.  From the April 10 announcement:

As part of the celebration of PRL's 50th anniversary, we will be presenting throughout 2008 a series of milestone Letters that made long-lived contributions to physics, either by announcing significant discoveries, or by initiating new areas of research. A number of these articles report on work that was later recognized with a Nobel Prize for one or more of the authors. Starting the week of January 2, we will present a few important Letters from PRL in 1958, and the next week from 1959, etc., continuing up through the year 2000.

Selection of these important papers is not an easy task. There is an overabundance of highlights in each year, and efforts have been made to obtain a distribution of such articles in the various fields of physics. It is inevitable that some very important work will not be featured, and this may be taken as an indication of the breadth and high quality of the contents of Physical Review Letters....

Comment.  I applaud this project and called for something similar in a 2004 article.  Excerpt:

[Journals providing retroactive OA for their landmark articles] will become more visible as journals that published landmark articles. They will also become visible as journals willing to share knowledge and accelerate research....It shouldn't take an expensive marketing department to convert this kind of reputation into advantage in the competition for submissions, advertising, and subscriptions....