Open Access to Science and Scholarship

Finally, open access is within reach of scientists and scholars today. They can launch an open-access archive whenever they like, at essentially no cost, and more and more universities and disciplines are doing so. With a bit more planning and investment, scholars can launch an open-access journal. Conventional journals can experiment with open access article by article, to learn the methods and economics of open-access publishing. But scientists needn’t wait for conventional journals to make these experiments, and they needn’t beg them to offer open access. They needn’t wait for markets or legislation. The internet has already given scientists a chance to reclaim control of scientific communication. For the first time since the journal appeared on the scene in 1665, price needn’t be a barrier to access. For the first time since the rise of the commercial publishing of scientific journals, scientific communication can be in the hands of scientists, who answer to one another, rather than corporations, who answer to shareholders. The only question is whether scientists are ready to seize this beautiful opportunity.
If you need a 1,000 word intro to open access, have a look on Peter Suber’s article.

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