Sunday, April 5, 2015

Cheap as Chips

An essay on open access from the blog of the Omohundro Institute.

Debates about Open Access often take place at a level of abstraction that privileges not simply clichés about technology (“Information wants to be free”) and statements of moral principle (“Impeding the circulation of knowledge hinders human progress”) but also assertions about out-of-control costs.  The comparator in these conversations, in short, is never an order of french fries.  Instead, it’s the thousands upon thousands of dollars charged by commercial publishers for access to STEM journals.  And fair enough.  There are discussions that need to be had about access to scholarship and the transfer of resources from educational institutions to private companies.  (For Karin’s recent contribution to those discussions, see her guest post on the Scholarly Kitchen blog.)  But those conversations must also recognize that there are other realities out there."

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