Open Access Explained. Well.

Today is the last day of Open Access Week, where all things Open Access are heralded. William Gunn gave a great talk here at MU on how open access is changing scholarship. (And a big thank you to our librarians Jen Waller & Kevin Messner for hosting William!)  I have posted about Open Access before, mainly as a dissident voice about some aspects of the process. To make things clear: I fully support the idea, and the reason I am being somewhat critical is that now Open Access is established as a successful and leading publication model, it is time to move on and have OA practitioners fulfill the promise inherent in OA as a sensible and fair one.


But what is Open Access, exactly? I never explained it since I assume that if you are reading this blog you either (1) know what it is or (2) have the wherewithal to find out for yourself. But after Gunn’s talk here on campus, I realized there are quite a few people who still misunderstand OA. Common misconceptions were that open access publications are free, or not peer-reviewed (so inherently of lesser quality than traditional publications),  and that OA publications are not economically sustainable by scientific society publications.

So here is an entertaining and informative video, from Piled Higher and Deeper web comics, explaining Open Access. Narrated by  Nick Shockey of the Right to Research coalition and Jonathan Eisen, professor at the University of California, Davis and editor in chief of PLoS BiologyBonus: Jonathan Eisen as an Open Access Che Guevara in 4:54. Enjoy. Thanks to Mickey Kosloff for bringing the video to my attention.

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