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!

5 Responses to “Real Open Access”

  1. ChemSpiderMan says:

    What you’ve hit on here is in alignment with my own views regarding providing solutions to problems for scientists. Over the past few months there have been a lot of commentaries regarding ChemSpider not being Open Access and of late that the data are not Open Data. There have been statements that it should be closed down because it is not built on Open Source and that the quality was far from perfect. Meanwhile, despite the ongoing negativity, the number of users continues to grow, the number of daily transactions is increasing, the capabilities of the APIs have been expanded to allow others to connect to us should they wish, the number of depositors increases and uses are getting access to more capabilities without charge. This is Free Access and, in my opinion, just as important as Open Access. I’m proud that we are doing what we are doing…and we are being acknowledged for it. While there have been naysayers we are happy to listen to their comments, review for areas we can improve and go to work. Keep up your efforts and stay true to vision of providing a valuable service. It’s VALID!

  2. sara says:

    iam master student making my first steps in my own master progect
    i need information about water treatment by radiation
    or water treatment by gamma ray
    or water treatment by irradiation
    or water treatment by electron beam

  3. will says:

    Hi, I am no expert but you can try these: (then under Free Access click “PDF” to avoid paying for the article) (click full text PDF at the bottom) (these should all be free PDFs)

    Good luck

  4. baoilleach says:

    So where was the free full-text access before the Open Access movement?

  5. will says:

    I’m not trying to say that the Open Access movement is not responsible for many good changes. Obviously if a service is marketed as free or open and you still have to pay I agree that deserves to be criticised. But we see many services that do provide data for free facing scathing criticism for not being open and I just think that’s crazy.

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