Open Access

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Pay wall or no pay wall? Students study at the Humboldt University Library in Berlin, one of the most advanced scientific libraries in Germany. Shutterstock

Open access is not free. Someone is doing the work. Someone is paying

Much of what's being said in support of open access publishing misses one key point: that is there is always a value chain and costs are incurred. Someone somewhere is paying for open access.
Academic publishers are attempting to build a walled garden around their content, blocking it off from public eyes. the.Firebottle/Flickr

Publisher pushback puts open access in peril

A new policy by publisher Elsevier is threatening to wind back the gains made by the open access movement.
Another myth is that we all look like this. U.S. Army RDECOM/Flickr

Seven myths about scientists debunked

As scientific researchers, we are often surprised by some of the assumptions made about us by those outside our profession. So we put together a list of common myths we and our colleagues have heard anecdotally…
Just make your access open, and do away with the silly wrapper. biblioteekje

Macmillan may now offer ‘free access’, but is it really open?

Earlier this week the publisher Macmillan announced (in somewhat breathless prose) that subscribers to 49 of its Nature journals would be able to share links to the full text of articles that would otherwise…
Sunlight is the best medicine. rishibando

What counts as an academic publication?

What is it that sets academic publications apart from articles on The Conversation? Peer review might be your first answer. While The Conversation is built around a journalistic model, there is a big growth…
The majority of edits to Wikipedia are done by volunteers. Flickr/mikeedesign

Paid editors on Wikipedia – should you be worried?

Whether you trust it or ignore it, Wikipedia is one of the most popular websites in the world and accessed by millions of people every day. So would you trust it any more (or even less) if you knew people…
Open access, as long as you’re a scientist. Shepherd Zhou/EPA

Humanities left behind as China embraces open access science

Two large Chinese funding bodies for scientific research are promoting so-called “open access” to research outcomes, according to an article in Nature. The Chinese Academy of Sciences and the National…
Too much information could be a recipe for disaster. Abode of Chaos

The next pandemic could be downloaded from the internet

Last October, scientists in California sequenced the DNA for the “type H” botulinum toxin. One gram of this toxin would be sufficient to kill half a billion people, making it the deadliest substance yet…
Researchers burned by copyright ‘take-downs’ do have other options. marfis75

Riled up by Elsevier’s take-downs? Time to embrace open access

The publishing giant Elsevier owns much of the world’s academic knowledge, in the form of article copyright. In the past few weeks it has stepped up enforcement of its property rights, issuing “take-down…
Randy Schekman: I will not publish in Nature, Science and Cell. James Kegley

Schekman’s ‘luxury journal’ boycott doesn’t go far enough

Recipients of this year’s Nobel Prizes converged on Stockholm to receive their medals, dine with the King and Queen, and be treated like the scientific royalty. For most this time is, understandably, about…
The demand for open access resulted in an explosion of refereed journals, free to anyone that wanted to view them. h_pampel/Flickr

Hoax highlights the pitfalls and perils of open access publishing

Open access has become the catch-cry of academic science, demanding all research be freely available to anyone. But it leaves open the question of how publishers are to make money. Traditionally, libraries…
Journal publishing is changing at a breakneck pace. Loughborough University Library

Hard Evidence: is open access working?

According to Peter Suber open access is academic literature which is “digital, online, free of charge, and free of most copyright and licensing restrictions". Open access delivered by journals is called…
Matthew Todd was honoured for his work on the Open Source Malaria project. ASAP Awards

Open Source Malaria project head wins Accelerating Science Award

Dr Matthew Todd – leader of the Open Source Malaria consortium in Sydney, senior lecturer at the University of Sydney and…
Some say the academic book is dead, or at least, dying. But is that true? And is there anything to be done about it? Book image from www.shutterstock.com

The death of the academic book and the path to Open Access

Is publishing academic books a dying trade? And if so, are free e-books from universities likely to deal the final blow? The future of book publishing in general is hotly contested, but particularly so…
Isn’t open access better? fuzzcaminski

Flawed sting operation singles out open access journals

In a sting operation, John Bohannon, a correspondent of Science, claims to have exposed dodgy open access journals. His argument seems to be that, because of their business model, some journals are biased…

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