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

From: Heather Morrison <heatherm_at_ELN.BC.CA>
Date: Wed, 31 Jan 2007 11:33:04 -0800

If, like Peter Banks, you ask top researchers about access to the
research literature, it is not surprising that they do not see any
issues. These individuals probably do have really good access.

At a university, access to subscription resources will most likely be
by IP authentication. At the office or library, the researcher sees
no barrier at all in accessing subscription resources; at home, at
most they will see is likely to be a request to enter a username and
password, with no indication of the financial underpinnings of the
whole system. If an item is not available through subscriptions,
they can obtain it through interlibrary loan, at no cost.

Unless it is the researcher's area of academic investigation, it is
not likely that the researcher will know the situation for access to
the research literature for others.

If you want to know about cancer, ask a cancer researcher.

If you want to know about access to the research literature in the
developing world, ask an expert like Barbara Kirsop or Leslie Chan.

If you want to know about access to the research literature in a
Canadian province, ask someone like me (a project coordinator at a
provincial library consortium).

Here in Canada, I have talked with researchers and others do not
realize that the substantial access to the research literature they
enjoy through the Canadian Research Knowledge Network (CRKN), is not
available to all Canadians, not even at all publicly funded Canadian
academic institutions, and not available to researchers in other
countries. They are not necessarily even aware of the existence of

To understand the significance of lack of access to the research
literature, it would be best to talk to those who do not have access,
not those who do.

Heather Morrison
Received on Wed Jan 31 2007 - 21:43:58 GMT

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