Sunday, July 3, 2011

Open Access science on the rise.

A couple of pleasing news items this past week. One is this from Nature, which documents the slow rise of open access. For the uninitiated, open access journals are scientific publications that make the papers they publish accessible to the public freely. Traditionally, journal's charge institutions (like libraries and universities, research institutes) quite significant sums of money for access to the papers that are usually created by the staff at those institutions. Which is a bit silly if you think about it. With the maturity of the web, it's been possible to create open access journals, which, as they mature, will lessen the burden imposed by the fees of the current crop of journals. The other bit of related news, was this post at Code for Life. The Wellcome Trust, Max Planck Institute and Howard Hughes Medical Institute (all big names in the science world) getting behind open access journals can only be a good thing. For researchers and cash strapped institutions anyway. Maybe not so much for the publishing groups currently charging the people doing the science large amounts of money for access to their own work.

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