Re: PR's 'pit bull' takes on open access: excerpts from article in Nature Magazine

From: Peter Banks <pbanks_at_BANKSPUB.COM>
Date: Mon, 29 Jan 2007 17:42:16 -0500

I am making no such argument, and never have.

The argument is not that much of the public can't understand primary
biomedical literature and therefore shouldn't have access to it (in fact, as
a medical publisher I made more such literature freely available than many
open access publishers). The argument is that one should not promote OA, as
Sen. Cornyn ignorantly did, mainly on the basis of benefit to patients,
because it has very little for most people.

If you doubt me, try visiting a diabetes or cancer clinic for day and see
what kinds of questions patients are asking and what kind of information
they truly need. People are are trying to understand complex medical
treatment options, are in shock because of a serious diagnosis, and who are
overwhelmed in their encounters with the medical system are not in state to
make use of complex literature. They need patient-oriented information that
offers reassurance, explanation, and hope.

Not to respond to patients' true needs is what is elitist and

On 1/29/07 3:08 PM, "Michael Carroll" <Carroll_at_LAW.VILLANOVA.EDU> wrote:

> Peter,
> You're making the elitist argument against open access, which is a sure
> loser. Thankfully you did not make the argument in its worst form - open
> access is dangerous to public welfare. But even the-public-is-indifferent
> version of the argument fundamentally out of step with information policy in
> the U.S. For the reasons why, see
> html
> Michael W. Carroll
> Associate Professor of Law
> Villanova University School of Law
Received on Tue Jan 30 2007 - 00:58:18 GMT

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