Access all areas

Connotea Imports 2012-07-31


"The past week has seen several twists and turns along the road towards a truly open research literature. But the underlying questions have hardly been touched on: who needs whom to add what value to what literature, and who is willing to pay for it? Consider first a ridiculous distraction: the US Research Works Act....Why is this a ridiculous distraction? Because it tries to reverse a slow but strong political tide that is in favour of access, and because even its supporters believe that it has no chance of passing....[T]he vision of an open research literature has both scientific merit and strong international political support. But there are still substantive issues regarding the future of the primary research literature, which are unlikely to be resolved for years....But the literature itself is changing. It no longer consists of only static papers that document a research insight. In the future, online research literature will, in an ideal world at least, be a seamless amalgam of papers linked to relevant data, stand-alone data and software, 'grey literature' (policy or application reports outside scientific journals) and tools for visualization, analysis, sharing, annotation and providing credit....This literature will need to be readable and computable not only by people but also by machines, which will, in turn, require publishers to develop new standards. In short, the literature is becoming ever more multifaceted, and intermediaries will be needed to supply added value and usability. It is hard to imagine such a primary literature and all of those seeking to add genuine value to it thriving when its key results are behind subscription firewalls. But a vision for open access in which all results — text, data, grey literature and so on — are immediately available in their published versions requires the costs of that added value to be paid for. None of this will occur until the tide in its favour becomes unstoppable. The only way that can happen is for governments to recognize the complexities of this terrain, and the damage that can be done to the providers of added value and to research itself as a result of poorly considered prohibitions or compulsions. Above all, they need to find the money to make the vision viable. Only then will the open research literature truly come to fruition, and only then will those wishing to provide added value be able to invest confidently in doing so."



01/25/2012, 15:44

From feeds:

Open Access Tracking Project (OATP) » Connotea Imports

Tags: oa.comment oa.usa oa.legislation oa.negative oa.rwa oa.nih oa.copyright oa.editorials



Date tagged:

07/31/2012, 11:48

Date published:

01/25/2012, 15:42