How to categorize OA?

I’ve been browsing the Categories in WikiAnswers, looking for questions and answers about OA. So far, I haven’t found much. So, I’ve added some.

One question that I added was: “What is Open Access to academic publications?“. The answer provided was taken from the first paragraph of the current entry in Wikipedia for “Open access“:

Open access (OA) is free, immediate, permanent, full-text, online access, for any user, web-wide, to digital scientific and scholarly material, primarily research articles published in peer-reviewed journals. OA means that any user, anywhere, who has access to the Internet, may link, read, download, store, print-off, use, and data-mine the digital content of that article. An OA article usually has limited copyright and licensing restrictions.

The WikiAnswers software asks “you to find the most specific topic that fits your question“, and provides a menu of topics. None of the categories provided seemed entirely appropriate. I chose “Information Science“, a subcategory of “Social Sciences“. The latter is listed as a subcategory of “Science and Technology“.

Existing answers can be edited, and existing questions can be discussed, but one must register and Log in first.

One can also look at other “Information Science Questions“. Questions and answers may be copied or shared under a Creative Commons license. For answers, this attribution and disclaimer is required:

Important notice: Some or all of this answer was written collaboratively by visitors to WikiAnswers. For reliable information of any sort, you must consult an officially qualified professional in your local area. You use this at your own risk. See the license and original question page for “


Another question that I added was: “What is the Harvard open access policy?“. The answer was based on a blog post, Harvard adopts opt-out open-access policy, by Maxine Clarke, Nautilus, February 27, 2008. (This is my modification of her initial sentence):

The Faculty of Arts and Science at Harvard University has adopted a policy that electronic versions of the ‘final drafts’ of academic papers written by members of the Faculty must be submitted to a repository established by the University, unless the authors request a waiver.

See also a post to my blog, entitled: Much ado about the Harvard OA policy, February 26, 2008.

I chose to include this second question and answer under the topic “Libraries and Library History“, a subcategory of “History Politics and Society“. This probably wasn’t a good choice, but the credible alternatives (other than using “Information Science” another time) weren’t obvious to me.

Again, answers may be edited, or questions discussed, by anyone who has registered and logged in. Interested readers could, of course, not only edit these answers, but also add new questions and answers. Questions and answers can be posted anonymously, without prior registration.

So, how should OA be categorized? Should different questions and answers about OA be placed in different categories?


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