Re: On the Need to Take Both Roads to Open Access

From: Jan Velterop <>
Date: Tue, 28 Oct 2003 12:37:03 +0000

Authors either don't want open access badly enough, or they are
insufficiently au fait with the options, or it's just inertia that
makes them so far fail to move more quickly to open access. The momentum
is growing fast, I agree, but not yet fast enough, and I really think
that the idea of 23,500 journals that would need to be converted for
OA publishing to be successful is a red herring. All researchers in the
life-sciences already have the option. We would happily face the challenge
of a hundred-fold increase in submissions, even a thousand-fold one,
as the BioMed Central system and technology is built to be eminently
and vastly scalable. The funds for Article Processing Fees is seldom an
insurmountable problem in our experience so far, at least in the OECD
countries. Opportunities for self-archiving are not the problem either,
I understand. So it's a question of the penny dropping that open access
is indeed better for science, better for anyone interested in scientific
research results, and with increasing numbers of funding bodies --
and prestigious ones at that -- in support of open access, better for
researchers' funding prospects and careers as well.

Our focus on persuading researchers that open access is in their interest
is the only right one and the task we share. The *options* are wide open
to them, be it OA journals or OA repositories for self-archiving. An old
friend of mine used to say "The mind is like a parachute; it only works
if it's open". The same could be said of scientific research literature
and that's the message we're giving.

I guess we agree enough to close this discussion and start a new thread in
which we share 'strategies and methods to persuade authors of the benefits
of open access'

Jan Velterop
BioMed Central
Received on Tue Oct 28 2003 - 12:37:03 GMT

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