Open Access Explained

Lisa Junker of Associations Now interviewed Patrick Brown, one of the founders of the Public Library of Science:
Into the Great Wide Open
A very clear explanation of what Open Access is all about. Obligatory Reading of the Day.
(Via via)
Want it shorter? Here is a five-liner by Jonathan Eisen.

One response to “Open Access Explained

  1. I’d like to cross-post what I put, referring to this interview, on the n-Category cafe blog, in a thread about Web Spamming by Academic Publishers.
    Re: Web Spamming by Academic Publishers
    I believe that this is a self-correcting problem. The conventional Physics and Math journals are doing to their audience (customers) very close to what the RIAA has done with music recording. The RIAA buried their heads in the sand about downloading music legally, sued children and innocent bystanders, and annoyed the hell out of musicians and audiences alike.
    By so doing, the conventional pressed bleached wood-pulp journals and the RIAA have doomed themselves to obsolescence, to be replaced by new technologies and new business models. For Physics and Math publishing, this includes open-access publishing, the arXiv, edited on-line encyclopedias such as The On-Line Encyclopedia of Integer Sequences
    where I just added 14 sequences on Blandin-Diaz compositional Bernoulli numbers based on the fine paper published in arXiv and referencing John Baez:
    Hector Blandin, Rafael Diaz, Compositional Bernoulli numbers, 6 Aug 2007.
    [RIAA: The Recording Industry Association of America… a trade group that represents the recording industry in the United States. Its members consist of a large number of private corporate entities such as record labels and distributors, who create and distribute about 90% of recorded music sold in the US. It is involved in a series of controversial copyright infringement legal actions on behalf of its members. The RIAA was formed in 1952 primarily to administer the RIAA equalization curve. This is a technical standard of frequency response applied to vinyl records during manufacturing and playback. The RIAA has continued to participate in creating and administering technical standards for later systems of music recording and reproduction, including magnetic tape, cassette tapes, digital audio tapes, CDs and software-based digital technologies. The RIAA also participates in the collection, administration and distribution of music licenses and royalties. The association is responsible for certifying gold and platinum albums and singles in the USA. For more information about sales data see List of best selling albums and List of best selling singles. The RIAA’s stated goals are to protect intellectual property rights worldwide and the First Amendment rights of artists; to perform research about the music industry; and to monitor and review relevant laws, regulations and policies.]
    Into the Great Wide Open
    ASSOCIATIONS NOW, August 2007
    Is open-access publishing opening the doors to achievement and innovation, or is it opening
    By: Interview by Lisa Junker, CAE
    Open-access publishing opens a scary chasm between a known public good–open sharing of information–and an untested and seemingly unreliable business model. Patrick Brown of the Public Library of Science argues that publishers (including associations) can, and must, bridge this gap to remain relevant.
    I’d also make the analogy to science fiction book publishers and magazine publishers, who have had diminishing sales figures for many years. More and more professional science fiction authors bypass the medieval system and publish themselves with POD technology, or via web sites, or via podcasts, or by other means.
    The social networking of science and math conferences, musical events, and science fiction conventions are still extremely valuable. They just have less and less to do with ink on paper. Web Spamming is another nail in the coffin.