14 April 2006

"The Access Principle" Made Accessible

One of the jibes that the anti-open access lot like to lob is that many of those writing in favour of these ideas often do so in non-open access outlets. But the fact is, we don't always have a choice if we want to reach traditional audiences who aren't yet used to reading open access titles/media. Against this background, it's good to see some traditional publishers proving amenable to releasing open access versions of works dealing with open access alongside the hard-copy versions.

A case in point is The Access Principle, The Case for Open Access to Research and Scholarship, by John Willinsky. I've just discovered (through the indispensable Open Access News) that the enlightened MIT Press has made this freely available (apart from some mild registration): kudos for that.

I've only skimmed through the first few chapters, but already it looks to be about the most important book on open access so far. This is hardly surprising given the author's work as director of the Public Knowledge Project - and the fact that he wrote an essay entitled "The unacknowledged convergence of open source, open access, and open science", which sounds strangely familiar as an idea.

So now there's no excuse for anyone not to rush out and buy it/download it and read it.

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