The unexpected reader
Connotea Imports 2012-07-31
"I have just returned from the Berlin 9 Conference on Open Access, which was held in Washington, D.C....For the sciences especially, it was clear that openness is rapidly becoming the default, because awareness of its benefits is spreading so widely....Some of the most compelling discussion in Washington about the impact of openness centered on the idea of unexpected readers. For years researchers have assumed that, especially for highly technical work, all of the people who needed access to their work and could profit from it had access through the subscription databases. This assumption has probably always been incorrect, but now the promise of open online access has really blown it up completely. The possibility of unexpected readers, including computers that can make connections and uncover patterns in large collections of works, is now one of the great advantages of OA and one of the primary sources of the expectation for greater innovation...."