to make scholarly information more accessible and affordable,
a number of alternatives, made possible with the technology
of the internet, have been proposed. Some of them fall within
the definition of what is called Open Access. In 2002, the Budapest Open Access Initiative
defined open access as the "world-wide electronic distribution
of the peer-reviewed journal literature, completely free and unrestricted
access to it by all scientists, scholars, teachers, students,
and other curious minds." Obviously such publishing, like all
publishing, has a cost. As such, someone other than the reader
(or the reader's library) would pay for the publication-and much
of the discussion so far has been how that cost might be paid
Currently there are two complementary strategies for
achieving open access to scholarly journal literature. The first
is depositing of preprints in an open access digital achive (such as Cornell University's eCommons) hosted by an institution
or discipline. The second is publishing in peer reviewed open access journals. In some cases there will
be overlap between the two in that some self-archived materials will
also have been peer reviewed and accepted for publication.
Another definition of Open Access publishing comes from a meeting
of the biomedical community held on April 11, 2003 in Bethesda, Maryland,
and is commonly referred to as the Bethesda Statement on Open
Access Publishing. It is composed of two clauses, one concerning
copyright and the other concerning archival copies and access: An
Open Access Publication is one that meets the following two conditions:
1) The author(s) and copyright holder(s) grant(s) to all users a
free, irrevocable, worldwide, perpetual right of access to, and
a license to copy, use, distribute, transmit and display the work
publicly and to make and distribute derivative works, in any digital
medium for any responsible purpose, subject to proper attribution
of authorship, as well as the right to make small numbers of printed
copies for their personal use.
2) A complete version of the work and all supplemental materials,
including a copy of the permission as stated above, in a suitable
standard electronic format is deposited immediately upon initial
publication in at least one online repository that is supported
by an academic institution, scholarly society, government agency,
or other well-established organization that seeks to enable open
access, unrestricted distribution, interoperability, and long-term
archiving (for the biomedical sciences, PubMed Central is such a repository).
The third major defintion is the Berlin Declaration
on Open Access
to Knowledge in the Sciences and Humanities.
A discussion by Peter Suber , editor of the Open Access
News, on the commonality of these three definitions is know as the
definition of open access.
Keeping Current on the Issue
Access News is the best way to stay abreast of national and international
news about the open-access.
Change is an advocacy and education campaign cosponsored with
the Association of Research Libraries and the Association of College and Research Libraries
to engage the academic community in reclaiming scholarly
the Scholarly Publishing and Academic Resources Coalition, is an alliance
of universities, research libraries, and organizations built as a
constructive response to market dysfunctions in the scholarly communication
system. These dysfunctions have reduced dissemination of scholarship
and crippled libraries. SPARC serves as a catalyst for action, helping
to create systems that expand information dissemination and use in
a networked digital environment while responding to the needs of academe.
Charles Bailey has written a summary of Key
Open Access Concepts, and has illustrated these concepts with
a range of useful links.