Re: Two Open Access Books on Open Access

From: Stevan Harnad <>
Date: Sat, 15 Apr 2006 15:45:15 +0100

On 15-Apr-06, at 5:44 AM, [Identity Deleted] wrote:

> Here is what you get when you go to the MIT Press site [to retrieve
> Willinsky's "The Access Principle":

> "To access the full text of this book, we require that you sign in
> or create a profile."
> This is just as "open" access as the New York Times ...

I am afraid I have to disagree. This is a full book. To let you have
it all online for free, MIT requires a few keystrokes to register.
Open Access (OA) means toll-free access. This is toll-free access. If
we complain that registering to get a free book is a "barrier" then we
might as well complain that having to log in and click is a barrier,
or even having to have an internet account. Please let us not lose
perspective: Free online access means free online access, and the
condition to contrast that with is having to pay to have the text. That
was the non-OA world, and that is what we are trying to free certain texts
from. Moreover, the primary target of OA is peer-reviewed journal
articles, which authors never sold, nor sought to be paid for. MIT's is
a book. That is an extra bonus.

Stevan Harnad

>> John Willinsky's (2005) excellent book on Open Access is now available
>> Open Access. Its only short-coming is that it makes absolutely no
>> mention of its predecessor, the first book on Open Access, edited by
>> Okerson & O'Donnell (1995), published over a decade earlier:
>> Okerson, A.S. & O'Donnell, J.J. (1995) (Eds.) Scholarly
>> Journals at the Crossroads: A Subversive Proposal for
>> Electronic Publishing. Association of Research Libraries.
>> Willinsky, J. (2005) The Access Principle: The Case
>> for Open Access to Research and Scholarship MIT Press
Received on Sat Apr 15 2006 - 16:01:52 BST

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