Not So Fast on ‘Open Access’

25/09/2012 – 8:26 am
Tony McCall

The movement toward “open access” publishing — in which scholarly journal articles are available free — is taking off without consideration of the impact on humanities scholarship, says a statement being released today by the American Historical Association.

The statement notes that there are many frustrations with the current system of journal publishing, in which high journal subscription prices limit access to scholarship. But the AHA statement says that proposed solutions such as open access may do more harm than good.

Specifically, the statement says that the arguments for open access in the sciences (where most work is supported in part by federal funds) could soon be applied to the humanities (where most work is not supported with federal funds).

“In today’s digital world, many people inside and outside of academia maintain that information, including scholarly research, wants to be, and should be, free. Where people subsidized by taxpayers have created that information, the logic of free information is difficult to resist,” the statement says.

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Inside Higher Ed

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author: Steve Jaschik
source: Inside Higher Ed (24/9/12)

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