Open Access News

News from the open access movement

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Even PLoS confuses libre with gratis OA

A few days ago, PLoS Medicine posted an announcement that, as part of celebrations for the journal's 5th anniversary, it was holding a contest for best OA article in medicine from the past 5 years, with a list of nominees. Today, the original announcement had been pulled and this update was posted on the journal's blog:

Susan Jones, PLoS Medicine’s 5th anniversary competition – update, Speaking of Medicine, September 15, 2009.

We are currently running a competition to find the best open access medicine paper of the past 5 years — many thanks to all of you who have voted. Unfortunately, it has now come to our attention that one of the articles shortlisted was not an open access paper, but instead was free access. So, we’ve had to suspend voting temporarily and we’ll be relaunching the competition as soon as possible. We would like to unreservedly apologise to all those who have already cast their votes and reassure you that you’ll be able to cast your vote again. Although free access is a step in the right direction, it differs from open access, because true open access means that you can not only read articles for free, but can download, copy, distribute, and use (with attribution) any way you wish. Open access is a core principle of PLoS; this problem illustrates how easy it is to fall foul of this important distinction but serves to remind us about the key difference between free and open access that we’re seeking to highlight.