Open Access News

News from the open access movement

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Jan Velterop at the UKSG meeting

Abstracts of the presentations from the 32nd UKSG Annual Conference and Exhibition (Torquay, March 30 - April 1, 2009) are now online. 

For example, see Jan Velterop, Beyond Open Access:

Abstract:   When Homo sapiens was still in the early stages of his evolutionary development, he hadn't yet figured out many other uses for water than to drink it. Water is one of the most abundant resources on earth, but if you're just using it to drink, you don't use much of its potential. When people invented rafts and boats a whole new world, literally, opened up to them. They all of a sudden didn't have to see expanses of water as impediments to getting to the other side, and once navigation was thus discovered, waterways and seas became the most important transportation routes upon which empires were built. There is something similar going on with the way we use information. Homo sapiens of today hasn't quite figured out what to do with the oceans of information available to him, other than 'by the drink' - by reading articles. There remains an enormous amount of "unknown knowns" if we do not find a way to do more with information than read articles and books, or consult databases. We have to develop ways of extracting knowledge out of large amounts of information. We have to invent the equivalents of rafts and boats to navigate information. And still read, but manageable amounts (after all, we still drink, too). Some people deplore the fact that more and more information becomes available. They even extend that to open access. If indeed the only thing one can imagine doing with it is read ('drink'), then solutions are being sought in selection, in limiting access, in having the choices made by others. But if one can imagine truly navigating the ever growing seas of information, the verb will not be to deplore the abundance, but instead, to explore it.

Also see the Charlie Rapple's blog notes on Jan's presentation, from the conference blog.