The Access Principle: The Case for Open Access to Research and Scholarship

The Access Principle: The Case for Open Access to Research and Scholarship

by John Willinsky
ISBN-10:
0262512661
ISBN-13:
9780262512664
Pub. Date:
02/13/2009
Publisher:
MIT Press

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Overview

The Access Principle: The Case for Open Access to Research and Scholarship

Questions about access to scholarship go back farther than recent debates over subscription prices, rights, and electronic archives suggest. The great libraries of the past — from the fabled collection at Alexandria to the early public libraries of nineteenth-century America — stood as arguments for increasing access. In The Access Principle, John Willinsky describes the latest chapter in this ongoing story — online open access publishing by scholarly journals — and makes a case for open access as a public good.

A commitment to scholarly work, writes Willinsky, carries with it a responsibility to circulate that work as widely as possible: this is the access principle. In the digital age, that responsibility includes exploring new publishing technologies and economic models to improve access to scholarly work. Wide circulation adds value to published work; it is a significant aspect of its claim to be knowledge. The right to know and the right to be known are inextricably mixed. Open access, argues Willinsky, can benefit both a researcher-author working at the best-equipped lab at a leading research university and a teacher struggling to find resources in an impoverished high school.

Willinsky describes different types of access — the New England Journal of Medicine, for example, grants open access to issues six months after initial publication, and First Monday forgoes a print edition and makes its contents immediately accessible at no cost. He discusses the contradictions of copyright law, the reading of research, and the economic viability of open access. He also considers broader themes of public access to knowledge, human rights issues, lessons from publishing history, and "epistemological vanities." The debate over open access, writes Willinsky, raises crucial questions about the place of scholarly work in a larger world — and about the future of knowledge.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780262512664
Publisher: MIT Press
Publication date: 02/13/2009
Series: Digital Libraries and Electronic Publishing
Pages: 312
Product dimensions: 5.60(w) x 8.60(h) x 0.80(d)

Table of Contents

Introductionix
Acknowledgmentsxvii
1Opening1
2Access13
3Copyright39
4Associations55
5Economics69
6Cooperative81
7Development93
8Public111
9Politics127
10Rights143
11Reading155
12Indexing173
13History189
Appendixes
ATen Flavors of Open Access211
BScholarly Association Budgets217
CJournal Management Economies221
DAn Open Access Cooperative227
EIndexing of the Serial Literature233
FMetadata for Journal Publishing241
References245
Index271

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