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Parallel universes: open access and open source

Parallel universes: open access and open source

Posted Feb 22, 2006 20:24 UTC (Wed) by imres (guest, #12)
Parent article: Parallel universes: open access and open source

I would like to make three comments on this very timely article:

1. There is a 2005 article by John Willinsky, in FirstMonday, developing this line of reasoning:

The unacknowledged convergence of open source, open access, and open science by John Willinsky
http://www.firstmonday.org/issues/issue10_8/willinsky/

2. Stevan Harnad fiercely and insistently resists the idea of any similarity between the Free Software/Open Source movements and the Open Access movement as can be confirmed by visiting the American Scientist discussion list he moderates:

http://listserver.sigmaxi.org/sc/wa.exe?A2=ind03&L=am...

3. I personally agree much more with the author's and Willinsky's view of convergence than with Harnad's arguments of deep differences. However, I should sadly point out one major, factual and measurable differrence: while the free software/open source movements catch fire like hay and disseminate very easily the open access movement experiences great difficulty to gather steam. Actually, this opens up a very interesting and intriguing question: why is that?


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Parallel universes: open access and open source

Posted Feb 22, 2006 23:16 UTC (Wed) by LetterRip (guest, #6816) [Link]

[QUOTE]However, I should sadly point out one major, factual and measurable differrence: while the free software/open source movements catch fire like hay and disseminate very easily the open access movement experiences great difficulty to gather steam. Actually, this opens up a very interesting and intriguing question: why is that?[/QUOTE]

Open Source costs the producer of free software time, in return for which he gets additional free software. Also software is frequently bought by the individual and thus the cost savings can be significant.

Open Access costs the producer time and the organization 1000$ per page, in return for which he might get published. The journal articles are all purchased by the University making them 'free to him' meaning an Open Access Journal has only idealogical value but limited practical economic benefit to the producer.

Thus poor college students can trade time for software they need, but would get little or no benefit from Open Access. For Open Access those who benefit most from consuming Open Access journals are not the same as those who benefit producing the content.

Corporations benefit directly from supporting open source software they use, but thre is no benefit for them in supporting Open Access.

LetterRip

Re: Why isn't Open Acces catching on like wildfire?

Posted Feb 22, 2006 23:24 UTC (Wed) by scripter (subscriber, #2654) [Link]

I've heard it said that "Holders of the older ideas sometimes have to die off before a new one can take hold." Maybe we'll have to wait a few decades before open access can succeed in the scientific community.


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