Open Season

Open access makes scientific research freely available to whomever wants to take the time to read it.

A recent string of articles in The Guardian make the case that open access to research publications is reasonable, beneficial, and inevitable. Open access is a system where costs of publishing in an academic journal are met upfront by the author and papers are free to readers, all with the goal of improving science by making all published results and ideas easily accessible to researchers across the world. One of the great benefits of the open access system, is that it will make publicly funded science, publicly available. It is particularly concerning that some charities that donate millions of dollars to research, may in turn be unable to access the fruits of that donation because of high subscription costs. Indeed some charities require open access within six months of publication, however, as of yet, the compliance rate isn’t so great. Government bodies that fund academic research should also require that the results of the research be made available to the public domain.

Unfortunately open access doesn’t mean open science. Arguably, most people would not be able to understand (or really care about) the primary literature, even if they had free access to it. With open access should come open communication, and academics should take the time to translate their work to make it more accessible. Tomorrow’s post, communicating science.

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One thought on “Open Season

  1. Pingback: SETAC Presentations on the Canadian Oil Sands | On a Quasi-Related Note

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