Re: Free Access vs. Open Access

From: Thomas Krichel <krichel_at_OPENLIB.ORG>
Date: Sat, 16 Aug 2003 06:22:42 -0500

  Matthew Cockerill writes

> * The freedom to run the program, for any purpose (freedom 0). The
> * freedom to study how the program works, and adapt it to your needs
> * > (freedom 1). Access to the source code is a precondition for
> * this.
> * The freedom to redistribute copies so you can help your neighbor
> (freedom 2).
> * The freedom to improve the program, and release your improvements
> to the public, so that the whole community benefits (freedom
> 3). Access to the source code is a precondition for this.

  Thank you for pointing this out. I have always held these ideas
  (as formulated by Richard Stallman) in high esteem. This is where
  I see the main role of the OAI, as to provide metadata on primary
  works with which secondary, i.e. abstracting and indexing services
  can be built, as I pointed out in my presentation to the ALA,

> BioMed Central's policy of Open Access is based on a giving the
> scientific community a similarly broad freedom to make use of the
> research articles that we publish. This includes giving access to
> the structured form of the articles, and giving the right to
> redistribute and create derivative works from the articles.

  It will take a long time until the ideas of reusable code will
  move from the hacker community to the academic community. Part
  of that time delay comes from the underlying matter, i.e.
  academic research is not as immediately reusable as
  object-oriented software code. Another reason for the delay
  is the social environment. It matters a lot more who has
  written a research paper than who has written a piece
  of code. Because of that the open access movement must
  make sure that the transition to open access is demonstrably
  rational for each academic, not just collectively
  rational for the academic community as a whole. This is
  not a trivial task. We need to have freely-available
  conventional abstract and indexing data, as well as
  evaluative data.


  Thomas Krichel
  visiting CO PAH, Novosibirsk
Received on Sat Aug 16 2003 - 12:22:42 BST

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