Do acts of selfishness inhibit Open Access?

Richard Poynder has posted a very interesting commentary on his blog (20 November 2006), entitled: “Open Access: Beyond Selfish Interests“,

The initial paragraph: “Few would question that the aim of the Open Access (OA) Movement – to make all research papers freely available on the Web – is a laudable one. OA will considerably benefit the research process, and maximise the use of public funds. It was encouraging therefore to see the topic of OA aired in a number of presentations at the recent Internet Librarian International (ILI). Listening to them, however, I found myself wondering how many acts of selfishness stand between us and OA“.

Peter Suber has blogged an item about this commentary, entitled: “A dysfunctional journal publishing system and a self-limiting OA movement“,

He has added some comments of his own. The last sentence: “But if I were convening a meeting on long-term strategy, I’d assign this article in its entirety as background reading. I encourage you to read it for the same reason“. I agree.

Jan Velterop has also blogged some comments (21 Nov 2006). See: “Ego and Economics“,

Excerpt: “Because it is so well-written – he is a journalist after all – one may not easily spot that some of his observations are presented as foregone conclusions, yet are not supported or warranted“.

Two “red herrings” are identified and commented upon: 1) That publishers have a “hegemony over scholarly communication“, and, 2) that: “If funders were to mandate OA publishing those prices [the article processing charges – APCs – that OA publishers currently levy] would be locked in“.


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