Open Access Day

14th October 2008 has been designated the first Open Access Day. Many people will blog on the subject more eloquently than I, but here is my ‘syncro-blog’

  1. Why does Open Access matter to you?
  2. Whatever some über-competitive people I know may think, science is a collaborative enterprise. The inability to freely access the work of another inhibits this collaboration.

    How are we to stand on the shoulders of giants, if we cannot read the work of the giants?

  3. How did you first become aware of it?
  4. I was not properly aware of the Open Access movement until I started my current job (late 2005). All I knew before is that the subscriptions of my current institution allowed me access to some articles, but not others.

  5. Why should scientific and medical research be an open-access resource for the world?
  6. Mainly, and certainly for the UK and the US, the public pays for the scientific and medical research, so they should be able to access the results of that research without having to pay again.

  7. What do you do to support Open Access, and what can others do?
  8. Since I am viewed as ‘technical support’ by many of people I work with, I am not included in nearly enough publications, let alone with any kind of control over where they may be published. I can make the case for OA, but at the end of the day it is up to the grant holder where they publish their findings.

    As for others, the OA model will only become widely accepted when it is seen as the usual route to publication, rather than something undertaken by an evangelical few. Requirement by funding bodies or institutions for work to be freely available will be a big step (the NIH currently require all works to be freely available within 12 months of initial publication).

I hope that my ramblings serve to add to the general positive noise being created about OA today.

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