Re: Who Needs Open Access, and Why?

From: Barbara Kirsop <>
Date: Sun, 24 Oct 2004 03:44:44 +0100

I would humbly suggest that you ask the scientific community in the
developing world whether or not they want open access. I think the answer is
entirely predictable.

But by 'open access' we mean OA Archives,which cost almost nothing to set up
and fill. OA Publishing again imposes barriers to the developing world which
can no way afford the publishing charges asked (though BMC waives these
costs if you can prove you can't pay).

Early days to get statistics from these regions as the news is only now
being transmitted via workshops, web sites etc, but a look at Bioline
International will show you there are over 30 publishers (all
non-commercial) from the developing world already wanting to make their
publications open access so that their research becomes part of the global
library. See for the main web site or for the same material on the Bioline eprints
archive. The scientific community in these regions of the world wants its
research to be visible internationally and also wants access to the research
so badly needed for health care, infectious diseases, agriculture, food
science, environmental studies - the list is endless. OA Archiving can close
both knowledge gaps.

>From the persepective of disadvantaged scientists, your question seems to me
like asking a hungry child if it wants this loaf at $2 or the same loaf for
free. The benefits from OA Archiving are incalculable, and not just to
developing country science.

Barbara Kirsop
Electronic Publishing Trust for Development.

----- Original Message -----
From: "Alma Swan" <>
Sent: Saturday, October 23, 2004 5:20 PM
Subject: Re: Who Needs Open Access, and Why?

> At a meeting last week it was stated that there is no evidence that
> researchers WANT open access. I'm not sure anyone has actually asked them
> this, formally, so I am about to carry out an exercise to gather data on
> the
> topic. I would like to hear from librarians, open archive administrators
> and
> researchers themselves on this issue.
> In her recent posting to this forum, Paula Callan produced an example of
> the
> reactions of a researcher in her institution, including some specific
> statistics on the usage of his work. This is the sort of information I
> need
> - attributable evidence (with empirical data included if it exists) for or
> against the notion that researchers WANT open access. Does anyone else
> have
> similar evidence one way or the other, please?
> Please - no humble opinions, no unsubstantiated impressions, no
> speculative
> thoughts. I need data that will stand up to scrutiny. I am happy to
> receive
> responses offline, though this community would probably benefit from
> hearing
> them.
> Final word: I have plenty of statistics about researchers not being AWARE
> of
> open access. That is not the same as not WANTING it and I am not
> interested
> in uninformed researchers' opinions. What I am after are data that
> indicate
> whether, once aware of the issues, researchers do or do not want open
> access
> - as authors AND readers.
> Alma P Swan
> Key Perspectives Ltd
> Truro, UK
> ------------------------------------------------------------------
> Added by Moderator:
> Prior Amsci Topic Thread:
> "Who Needs Open Access, and Why?"
> Internet Librarian International 2004. London. 11 October, 2004.
> Discussion Dialup Video:
> Discussion Broadband Video:
Received on Sun Oct 24 2004 - 03:44:44 BST

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