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[BOAI] eForum on "OPEN ACCESS to Scholarly Publications: A model for enhanced knowledge management?"
From: Peter Suber <peters AT earlham.edu>
[Forwarding from Inge Kaul and Vikas Nath. --Peter.] Dear Colleagues, We invite you to participate in the upcoming eForum on "OPEN ACCESS TO SCHOLARLY PUBLICATIONS: A MODEL FOR ENHANCED KNOWLEDGE MANGEMENT?" hosted by the global public goods Network (gpgNet): http://www.gpgnet.net/topic08.php The eForum will run from 20 September through 4 October 2004. To subscribe to this forum, send a blank email to: subscribe-gpgnet-oa AT groups.undp.org or, go to: http://groups.undp.org/read/all_forums/subscribe?name=3Dgpgnet-oa There exists a rapidly expanding stock of scientific knowledge. Yet, access to this pool of knowledge is often difficult. A primary reason for this is the relatively high price of scholarly journals, their printed and their web-based versions. This situation, it can be argued is both inequitable and inefficient. Initiatives have been undertaken to demonstrate that scientific knowledge need not necessarily be published in forms that make access expensive - or even impossible. It could be provided free of charge - through open access to it - without detrimental effect on scientific knowledge production and preserving the peer-review process that is key to validate scientific results. With open access, fees to meet the publishing costs - when required - are paid up front when articles are accepted by a journal, rather than by the readers. Access to the journal is then provided for free. Today, about 5% of academic publishing follows the open-access model. But the model is quickly gaining ground, including among both for-profit (BioMedCentral -BMC) and not-for-profit (Public Library of Science PloS) publishers. --------------------------------------------------------- The key points suggested for the debate are: 1. What are the main pros and cons of open-access scholarly publishing? 2. Thinking in particular of scholars in developing countries (and the fact that research grants may not be as easily available for them than for industrial-country scholars), could they face a new disadvantage? What sources will be available to pay these fees when authors cannot get their funder or employer to pay them? Will all open-access journals be able to waive processing fees in cases of economic hardship, as PLoS and BMC do? Should the international aid community maintain a fund/facility to help meet these costs? 3. Is the open-access model of publishing more likely to be successful in some than in other fields? What would determine the likely success? 4. Could the open-access model of knowledge management be applied beyond scholarly academic publishing? ---------------------------------------------------------- To aid debate on the topic, read a detailed overview of how open access to scholarly publications works by Peter Suber, Open Access Project Director at Public Knowledge, Washington, D.C, available at: http://www.earlham.edu/%7Epeters/fos/overview.htm Also read how the Budapest Open Access Initiative defines "Open ↵ Access" at http://www.soros.org/openaccess Join us for this debate and share with us - and the global public - your observations on this topic. Inge Kaul Director Office of Development Studies Vikas Nath Manager global public goods Network (gpgNet) Forum United Nations Development Programme 336 East 45 Street New York NY 10017 USA Email: info AT gpgnet.net URL: http://www.gpgNet.net --- gpgNet.net intends to serve researchers, policymakers, business and civil society as a platform for information exchange and discussion on issues concerning the theory, policy design and practice of providing global public goods.
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