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RE: Hoping for an open Cell

If Open Access were to go no further than newly emerging areas of study,
it will have failed as a publishing model. Given the thousands of open
access articles already published in the BioMed Central journals of which
the vast majority is in established areas of study, I find that an
implausible scenario.

But Joseph's question "what particular positions is OA best suited for?"
is a useful one. My answer would be: "any research articles, starting with
those that result from publicly-funded research."

In contrast to him, I *do* hope -- no, 'trust' and indeed work hard on it
-- that the kind of articles now published in Cell with dear and limited
accessibility, will soon in majority be published will full Open Access in
the likes of 'Journal of Biology' and 'PLoS Biology'.

Jan Velterop

> -----Original Message-----
> From: Joseph J. Esposito [mailto:espositoj@worldnet.att.net]
> Sent: 28 January 2004 23:19
> To: liblicense-l@lists.yale.edu
> Subject: Re: Varmus in the Chronicle
> I doubt there is a right and wrong to this debate, though you wouldn't
> know it from the tone and zeal of some of the participants outside the
> four corners of this particular mailgroup, moderated by the wise and,
> well, moderating hand of Ann Okerson.
> What seems likely to me is that we will see a pluralistic future, with
> Open Access taking some positions, proprietary publishing some others, 
> and other models (probably karaoke-like interactive forms) scratching 
> out their own territory.  A useful question, therefore, would be:  What
> particular positions is OA best suited for?  In my view, OA is least
> useful in areas where there are established proprietary journals, for 
> the reasons that are endlessly cited (market entrenchment, brand 
> recognition, stubbornness of tenure committees, etc.).
> OA, on the other hand, is uniquely suited for emerging areas of study,
> where the proprietary publishers have not yet staked out an interest for
> the simple and obvious reason that there is no money in a market that 
> does not yet exist.  For an emerging discipline, OA serves the people 
> who benefit most, the researchers and authors, who are trying to 
> get their new discipline on the map and are motivated to pay to do it.  
> An interesting question is whether such OA journals will switch and 
> become proprietary once the discipline is established.
> A corollary to this is that OA probably won't save anyone money.  
> Legacy journals in legacy disciplines will continue to function largely 
> with legacy business models.  Perhaps the increases in costs can 
> be moderated through OA (for the new disciplines), but I hope no one is 
> waiting for a free copy of Cell.
> Joseph J. Esposito