One of the surprises when indexing the huge array of literature available on the web is that many major names, that is the ones who are associated with the traditional closed model, pop up as by far and away the biggest contributors to open access works (defined here as those that are downloadable in their entirety free of charge or other barrier such as login giving away substantial personal info).
American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology (100,000+ free articles)
Royal Society of Chemistry (70,000+ free articles) – trawled, but not yet added to lit search.
National Academy of Sciences of the USA (50,000+ free articles)
The observation is that around 99% of the open access works in chemistry indexed by ChemSpider are supported financially by the subscription model, and we can suppose that open access works support subscriptions by attracting unsubscribed readers too.
As we see above, this is not theory, it has been happening for years, it is a real world material contribution to openness in chemistry that has crazily not attracted any attention on the blogosphere as far as I can tell.
There is a continued focus on relabelling data produced by others as “open data” – but this data has already been labelled and licensed by the orginal producer so this could be misleading. I’ve always thought that building searchable indices that link back, as do the major search engines, is the best way to build a resource through which users can discover works and where data producers are not undercut.