SansBlogue  
Friday, November 12, 2004
 
Access, cash and quality ::

I haven't yet finished reading Eric's material that accompanied the announcement of the NET GEMS project, so I'll save commenting on his ideas directly till later. (It's our end of year exam season!) But I can't resist discussing Rubén Gómez' post on the subject.

Rubén argues that since it is costly to produce quality, then open access materials must be of poorer quality. He concludes:
The bottom line is, somebody has to pay for "open-source" scholarship in order for it to remain scholarship.
It's worth examining who "pays" for current print scholarship. The costs are divided between:So, assuming some form of grant to aid the initial quality control. The work can be free to the end user.

There are also hybrid models possible. For example stable citable editions are sold to libraries, providing the funds needed to maintain a freely available ever changing (and so un-citable) corpus for Open Access...

PS it is interesting (and timely) that, just after writing about this, I should read (cautious and nuanced) support by the Financial Times for the proposal for Open Access science publication that the UK Government recently backed away from! At the same time Nature is a subscribers' only piece ;) reports on support from the Welcome Trust. (According to Peter Stuber, of Open Access News) the article claims:
All papers reporting the results of research funded by the trust will in future have to be placed in a central public archive within six months of publication...


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