Wednesday, September 05, 2007

Financial Times on Open Access

In "The irony of a web without science" (Sept 4 2007) James Boyle decries the state of scientific research and describes the limited amount of scientific output - in particular journal publications - that can be accessed in an Open Access manner. The author cannot reconcile what he describes as the "genius of the web is that it is an open network" with the closed and expensive nature of what is modern science and the modern scientific publishing landscape.

But the author goes on to say:

Thus I do not support the proposal that all articles based on state-funded research must pass immediately into the public domain. But there are more modest proposals that deserve our attention.

Pending legislation in the US balances the interest of commercial publishers and the public by requiring that, a year after its publication, NIH-funded research must be available, online, in full...

I think the author muddles a number of different ideas here (OA does not imply public domain...) and does not properly understand what is the Open Access movement. But it is interesting to see this discussed in something like the FT.

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