24 January 2006

Open Access, Open Source, Open Dialogue

One of the most important facets of the blog world is the rapid and intelligent dialogue it allows. A case in point is the interview that appeared on Richard Poynder's blog "Open and Shut?". As you might guess from its title, this is a kindred spirit to the present site, and is highly recommended for anyone interested in following the latest developments in the open access and circumjacent domains.

The interview is a fairly specialist one, and concerns the some open access nitty-gritty. But what caught my attention was the response to points made there by Stevan Harnad in his own blog, which has the rather lumbering title "Publishing Reform, University Self-Publishing and Open Access" but the wonderful sub-title "Open Access Archivangelism". This is rather appropriate since if anyone has the right to be called the Archivangelist of Open Access, it is Harnad, who is probably the nearest thing that the movement has to Richard Stallman (also known as Saint IGNUcius).

In his response to the interview, Harnad comments on a point made in the Poynder interview about moving from the Eprints to a hosted system called bepress. Eprints is open access archiving software that not only proudly sports GNU in its name, but runs principally on GNU/Linux (with the odd bit of Solaris and MacOS X thrown in for good measure), but notes "There are no plans for a version to run under Microsoft Windows." Defiantly open access and open source: how right-on can you get?

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