Peter Suber: “A Field Guide to Misunderstandings about Open Access”

Peter Suber has published "A Field Guide to Misunderstandings about Open Access" in the latest issue of the SPARC Open Access Newsletter.

Here's an excerpt:

"OA is about punishing greedy or obstructive publishers."

You can't throw a brick out a university window without hitting a researcher, librarian, or administrator frustrated and furious with a set of TA journal publishers.  For many of them, the problems for which OA is the solution are defined by these frustrating and infuriating experiences.  But it doesn't follow that OA must function as punishment, for anyone.  To pursue it as a punishment is to mistake the goal.

As I put it in my OA Overview:  "The purpose of the campaign for OA is the constructive one of providing OA to a larger and larger body of literature, not the destructive one of putting non-OA journals or publishers out of business. The consequences may or may not overlap (this is contingent) but the purposes do not overlap."

The rise of personal computers in the 1980's may have hurt the typewriter industry, but it doesn't follow that the purpose was to hurt the typewriter industry.  But when you've suffered at the hands of Royal and Olivetti, it's easy to become distracted and take your eyes off the prize.

This misunderstanding has a surprisingly diverse habitat.  You'll find it among some caffeinated academics who are avid for OA.  But you'll also find it among besieged TA publishers who would rather believe that OA is an ideological attack on what they are doing than a serious and sophisticated alternative or supplement to what they are doing.  The lesson for both is that OA would still be an urgently good idea if TA journal prices were low and licensing terms reasonable.  For more along these lines, see my reflections on OA as solving problems and OA as seizing opportunities.

Citer ce billet
cléoradar (2009, 3 avril). Peter Suber: “A Field Guide to Misunderstandings about Open Access”. Cléo Radar. Consulté le 23 avril 2024, à l’adresse

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