Open-access publishing: The debate continues

ould be, covered in ways that do not limit access to information and so do not hinder scientific communication."

Counter arguments to open-access initiatives are provided by Brian Crawford from John Wiley Publishing (p 1578). He comments: "The primary weakness inherent in open-access models is that they are based on authors paying for publication, either directly or through sponsorship from institutions or interested third parties. As a result, science will either have a less effective filter, or will require the introduction of new post-publication filtering mechanisms. Neither result can be seen as beneficial to users of published biomedical research."

In an accompanying Commentary (p 1510), Lancet Editor Richard Horton comments: "Open-access initiatives, especially non-profit organisations such as the Public Library of Science, are welcome because they will encourage traditional publishers of medical journals to re-evaluate their contribution to the medical research and clinical communities. The long-term goal for any editor of a primary research medical journal is to strengthen the culture of scientific inquiry and to improve human health. These are the ultimate yardsticks by which readers, authors, funding agencies, librarians, and publishers should judge the success of journals. In the sometimes divisive debate about open access, let us not lose sight of the fact that the publishing model is simply a means to a much greater end, an end that has far too long been neglected."


Contact: Joe Santangelo

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