Open Access Week Thought of the Day #4

Today I’m thinking about how “open access” does not mean just one thing.  Yes, all open access works are available online at no charge to readers.  But there are aspects of openness beyond free reading:

Open Access encompasses a range of components such as readership, reuse, copyright, posting, and machine readability. Within these areas, publishers and funding agencies have adopted many different policies, some of which are more open and some less open. In general, the more a journal’s policies codify immediate availability and reuse with as few restrictions as possible, the more open it is.

Read more about the different facets of openness in the new guide How Open Is It?

Have room in your brain for another open access thought?  The guide also includes a very important reminder that openness and quality are separate issues:

Journals can be more open or less open, but their degree of openness is intrinsically independent from their:

  • Impact
  • Prestige
  • Quality of Peer Review
  • Peer Review Methodology
  • Sustainability
  • Effect on Tenure & Promotion
  • Article Quality

Open Access Week Thought of the Day #3

Today’s thought is short and to the point. I’ve been repeating it ever since I first heard it a year ago, and I’m going to keep repeating it — this time, in big, bold letters:

“Closed access means people die.”
—Peter Murray-Rust

Not seeing the connection between closed access and death?  Peter Murray-Rust breaks it down: “Simply, closed access publishers make money by restricting access to information.”  And of course: “More and better information leads to better medicine, better health-care, better environment.” So: “The worse the medicine and healthcare, etc. the more people die.”  Therefore, yep: “Closed access means people die.”  Furthermore: “If we want a closed access publishing system then we have to accept that the price is people’s lives.”

Read more about why Peter Murray-Rust is angry.