10 June 2008

Peter Suber Writing Suberbly

Peter Suber is widely acknowledged as the linch-pin of the open access movement, but an ironic consequence of this is that his own writings on the subject can be overshadowed by the torrent of info he provides on Open Access News. So, in an attempt to do justice in this respect, here are a couple of noteworthy - maybe Suberb is the word - contributions.

The first is a stonker:

Here's an epistemological argument for OA. It's not particularly new or novel. In fact, I trace it back to some arguments by John Stuart Mill in 1859. Nor is it very subtle or complicated. But it's important in its own right and it's importantly different from the moral and pragmatic arguments for OA we see more often.

The thesis in a nutshell is that OA facilitates the testing and validation of knowledge claims. OA enhances the process by which science is self-correcting. OA improves the reliability of inquiry.

After that you might prefer some lighter fare, ending on this upbeat note:

The short-term outlook is turbulent. But long-term, there are good reasons to think that OA will become the default for new peer-reviewed research literature. Support for OA is growing among scholars, universities, libraries, learned societies, funding agencies, and governments. Even non-OA publishers are increasingly willing to experiment with it. We can implement OA today, without reforming or violating copyright law. OA publishing costs less than conventional publishing and even these costs don’t require new money; long-term, they can be covered by redirecting money now spent on non-OA journals. The economics of prestige temporarily favors older journals, and therefore non-OA journals, but high-quality OA journals are inexorably acquiring prestige to match their quality, and new OA journals launch every week. While non-OA publishers can still influence author decisions, they are powerless to stop the rise of lawful OA from those who are determined to seize rather than spurn the opportunities created by the internet.


Anonymous said...

I agree that Dr. Suber's writing is great. It's almost a shame that many of the posts on OAN are copy-pasted from other sources with only short introductions from the man himself. On the other hand, I really appreciate the compilation of news and wouldn't necessarily want to see that diminished just so he could write more!

Glyn Moody said...

Indeed. Nice blog name, BTW.