Re: Free Access vs. Open Access

From: Jim Till <>
Date: Sat, 3 Jan 2004 16:21:10 +0000

On Fri, 2 Jan 2004, Barbara Kirsop wrote [in part, on the
Subject: Re: Free Access vs. Open Access]:

>[bk]> The present discussions on the AmSci forum on whether
>[bk]> 'open' is the same as/different from 'free' access and
>[bk]> comparing this with the need to feed the starving now
>[bk]> or wait a bit til everyone can have 'organic' food is
>[bk]> spot on. I reflect that these discussions, erudite and
>[bk]> entertaining as they are, are of little interest to
>[bk]> science in the developing world. Scientists (and
>[bk]> patients with malaria) in the developing world need
>[bk]> the information now, asap, in any format that can best
>[bk]> be provided, don't wait til everything is perfect, just
>[bk]> do it. And science in the developed world equally needs
>[bk]> the highly relevant research from the developing
>[bk]> regions now - though it mostly doesn't recognise this
>[bk]> knowledge gap.

Thanks for this eloquent summary of the "global health argument"
in favour of open access.

I must confess that I've not read every word of every message
in the interesting thread on 'open' vs. 'free' access. Has
anyone who has contributed to this thread proposed a revised
definition of open access? Or, is the debate mainly about how
best to implement the BOAI definition? See:

"By 'open access' to this literature, we mean its free
availability on the public internet, permitting any
users to read, download, copy, distribute, print, search,
or link to the full texts of these articles, crawl them
for indexing, pass them as data to software, or use them
for any other lawful purpose, without financial, legal,
or technical barriers other than those inseparable from
gaining access to the internet itself. The only
constraint on reproduction and distribution, and the only
role for copyright in this domain, should be to give
authors control over the integrity of their work and the
right to be properly acknowledged and cited."

If anyone is proposing a revised definition, then what
is it?

Jim Till
University of Toronto
Received on Sat Jan 03 2004 - 16:21:10 GMT

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