10 Jul 2013

Misleading open access myths

As an open access advocate, I've engaged in many debates about the feasibility and sustainability of open
access publishing with friends, researchers and indeed other librarians (it seems to me there are still many librarians who don't quite fully buy into it as a long-term vision - a post for another day perhaps!).

There is a range of arguments to be made on both sides, with some proving to be particularly enduring:

  • The article processing charges to pay for OA would be too expensive; 
  • Publishers need to retain control of copyright in order to uphold scientific integrity;  
  • Researchers (and the public) can get any article they want from their institutional library (or public library) free of charge via interlibrary loan 
BioMed Central (an open access publishing platform owned by Springer) has compiled a list of their responses to 11 common myths highlighted in the UK's Select Committee on Science & Technology 2003-2004 inquiry into scientific publishing and open access. It is interesting that nearly ten years on, many of these same arguments are still being made by publishers and others. BioMed Central is obviously promoting its own interests at the same time, but most of the arguments are well-made and reasonably objective, and provide links to other useful resources. It is a nice, at a glance compilation of some of the key questions about open access that librarians may be faced with in relation to journal publishing in the Sciences. 


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