51 Liberal Arts Colleges join Public Library of Science

From: Stevan Harnad <harnad_at_ecs.soton.ac.uk>
Date: Mon, 15 Mar 2004 13:51:16 +0000 (GMT)

> March 15, 2004 -- Oberlin OH. The movement for open access to scientific
> and medical literature gained important support today when 51 members of
> the Oberlin Group of Liberal Arts College Libraries announced that they
> have become institutional members of the Public Library of Science (PLoS).

This support for Open Access (OA) from the Oberlin Group is very welcome,
but consider how many more OA articles it would generate if, besides
committing themselves to supporting one or two PLoS journals, these
universities made a commitment to implement an institutional policy
of making all their articles OA (regardless of which journal they are
published in) by self-archiving them, rather than just making the tiny
fraction of them OA that they can publish in PLoS)?


> PLoS is a non-profit advocacy organization and a publisher of open-access
> journals like PLoS Biology

PLoS is a wonderful organization, but it could do immeasurably more
for OA if it were *OA provision* that it advocated (by both OA routes)
and not just *OA publication.*

> "The commitment of these institutions to create a better system for
> disseminating scientific knowledge is absolutely crucial for the growth and
> sustainability of the open access movement."

The institutional commitment to create a better system for disseminating scientific
knowledge begins at home, with creating a better system for disseminating
the scientific knowledge generated by the institution -- by self-archiving all
journal article output in institutional OA Eprint Archives:


> "My colleagues and I welcome the opportunity to support efforts such as
> PLoS that offer our science faculties a new way to share their research
> widely as a public resource available to other scholars around the world,"
> said Larry Frye, Wabash College Head Librarian. "We hope that our
> commitment will encourage other academic libraries to join PLoS."

And I hope that institutions will also realize that if they wish to share their
research widely as a public resource available to other scholars around the world
this is not accomplished by merely supporting the few existing OA journals, but
by providing OA for all their research article output.

Stevan Harnad

NOTE: A complete archive of the ongoing discussion of providing open
access to the peer-reviewed research literature online (1998-2004)
is available at the American Scientist Open Access Forum:
        To join the Forum:
        Post discussion to:
        Hypermail Archive:

Unified Dual Open-Access-Provision Policy:
    BOAI-2 ("gold"): Publish your article in a suitable open-access
            journal whenever one exists.
    BOAI-1 ("green"): Otherwise, publish your article in a suitable
            toll-access journal and also self-archive it.
Received on Mon Mar 15 2004 - 13:51:16 GMT

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