15 August 2006

OA and Collectivisation

PLoS Medicine has put together a timely collection of some of its articles on HIV infection and AIDS. Nothing remarkable in that, you might say. But in principle it could have put together a collection of such articles drawing on other open access titles too.

Indeed, I predict this kind of collectivisation will become increasingly popular and important as OA journals gain in popularity. Because this kind of meta-publishing is only really possible in an OA world: traditional publishers would usually rather pull their own heads off rather than allow other rivals to use their texts.

Of course, you might point out that these same publishers will be able to include OA materials in their own collections, whereas PLoS, say, won't be able to draw on commercial titles. But that's fine: it would be an implicit recognition that OA journals are the equals of traditional titles, and would provide buckets of free publicity.

That's the great thing about openness: even freeloaders help the cause, whether they mean to or not. (Via Open Access News.)

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