Open Access News

News from the open access movement

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Roundup of blog posts on OA Day, part 1

Here's a sampling of what people are writing about on Open Access Day, in no particular order:

Dorothea Salo, My Father the Anthropologist; or, What I Offer Open Access and Why, Caveat Lector, October 14, 2008.

... I have held one-on-one meetings and demo sessions with faculty and librarians. I have designed and produced brochures, flyers, slideshows, posters, web pages, wiki pages, and one mini-movie. I have presented at innumerable campus expos, showcases, lectures, symposia, conferences, and workshops. I have called and written my elected representatives. I have blogged. I have written articles and self-archived them, sometimes after polite and fruitful discussions with publishers. I have run any number of failed efforts toward building a community of practice among repository managers, each new attempt the triumph of hope over experience. I have cold-called librarians, faculty, department chairs, deans, and administrators. I have been to more meetings than ought to fit in the three years Iíve been doing this.

You neednít be obsessed like my father the anthropologist and me. Believe me, thatís the last thing Iíd recommend to anyone. If you cannot find even one thing you can do in the above list, though, I wonder about you. ...

Garret McMahon, What Open Access means to me, DarkRepository, October 14, 2008.
... What if you could make a small contribution to helping close the gap between the information rich and the information poor by developing new services based on a flexible, global networked infrastructure? Imagine a paediatrician in Lilongwe or a social worker in S„o Paulo accessing Irish research without the impediment of tolled access. What if the institutional library was central to delivering these services...

... I know that scholarly communication's means of production, distribution and exchange is shapeshifiting into something that will facilitate mass collaboration and sharing. I see an enormous opportunity for the library to redefine itself as central to this process. I'm ready to assist. I'm having fun. We are, all of us, doing good work.
Deepak Singh, Open Access and me, bbgm, October 13, 2008.

... Open Access has taken a special meaning for me as I have moved away from science. I come from a heritage where the favorite journals included journals by the [American Chemical Society], an organization that has come to epitomize closed access to me. Back in the day, sitting in universities with free access to papers and journals, that journal access wasnít democratic never really registered. Then I started working in industry, at a startup, and suddenly you had to be careful about which journals you could subscribe to as a company. As I moved further and further away from hands on science, at the same time becoming even more interested in disparate fields, access to a variety of journals became more important, and more difficult.

Thatís when it really dawned on me. Just like the availability of data sets has always been a big deal, the availability of published content and perhaps even more importantly the data contained within was critical for the practice and understanding of science. Anything other than that was not science. ... Itís not even about who pays for it. It is science, and as such belongs to everyone.

Jan Velterop, Open Access Day, The Parachute, October 14, 2008.
... [I]sn't it fitting that this week, at the Frankfurt Book Fair, the worldwide publishers' jamboree, the inclusion of open access publishing into the mainstream of science publishing is being presented? I'm referring of course to the take-over of BioMed Central by decidedly mainstream publisher Springer.
Michael Eisen, Happy Birthday PLoS Biology, it is NOT junk, October 13, 2008.

Five years ago today Public Library of Science (PLoS) published the first issue of our first journal - PLoS Biology. It was the first step in our plan to liberate the scientific and medical literature from the needless restrictions on access and use imposed by the subscription based journals.

Our goal, as expressed in the founderís essay written by me, Pat Brown and Harold Varmus, was to ďcatalyze a revolution in scientific publishing by providing a compelling demonstration of the value and feasibility of open-access publication.Ē

Five years on our flagship journals - PLoS Biology and PLoS Medicine - are thriving successes. The four community journals that followed (PLoS Genetics, PLoS Computational Biology, PLoS Pathogens and PLoS Neglected Tropical Diseases) are amongst the most respected journals in their fields. Perhaps more importantly, several of the community journals are breaking even, and the others are about to - proving that open access is not just a nice idea - itís a viable business model. And PLoS One is opening the door to a new approach to publishing - harnessing the power not just of pre-publication reviewers, but of all the people who read articles to make peer review a dynamic and ongoing process.

Honestly, itís pretty much how we planned it. ...