The open access debate has recently focused on the following aspects specifically:
- redistribution of materials
- the scholarly definition of the term “open access” (assuming one is attributable)
- who has the copyright (publisher or author)
- use of terms such as ‘open’ in marketing of services
Now I’m sat here (without access by the way) and I am thinking that these are the concerns of people who ALREADY have access to the articles that they need. Do I ask myself whether I can redistribute an article or if the use the term “open” is justified when I have a page with an abstract and a “buy now” button beneath it. I do not. This is because I cannot get to the thing in the first place. So, all I care about is free full text literature —> the real open access serving the needs of those who cannot get to the literature rather than the people with the Athens password who worry about redistribution and pedantic definitions of terms that were only ever meant to describe a general concept.
So, far from blow torching publishers for providing free full text access services – a bizarre phenomenon in the chemistry blogosphere but a common one – because a copyright policy is not quite to my liking (<violins>) we should applaud the ACS and Nature Sample Issues, the RSC Free Access and the Springer Open Choice (and many more to mention besides) alongside the more generous BioMedCentral’s and Hindawi’s for giving us a chance to get a look at their materials.Stumble it!