Some time ago Social Science Space published an article by Robert Dingwall daringly entitled “Why Open Access is Good News for Neo-Nazis”, where the author spoke about Open Access in the same breath as about Nazis. So let’s check: are his theories valid in a way?
Authors who publish their research in Open Access have at their fingertips an infinite platform for self-promotion: the Internet. Since their publications are automatically available online, anyone who can access the web has the possibility to read them – unlike in the traditional publishing model, whereby visibility and discoverability levels are much more restricted. However, the mere fact that an article or a monograph is available online does not mean that it will be noticed by all potential readers.
Now that 2012 is coming to an end, more and more reviews of the year are beginning to surface. Overall, the past year has been very good for Open Access. Over the last 11 months there have been many new initiatives as well as new funds in support of Open Access. Moreover, the increasing number of OA publications, suggests that Open Access is becoming a more popular publishing solution for scientists.
A few weeks ago I wrote about the new fund, which has been launched by UC San Diego, and designed for scholars who have decided to publish in the Open Access model. The pilot program of UC San Diego covers the costs of Article Processing Charges and OA. In the meantime a new funding program has been created to help OA authors.
The theoretical differences between Open Access and traditional publishing have been discussed time and time again. However, one way to shed new light on the subject is to focus on real-life examples such as the case of junior scientist Antonio Silva.
A few days ago, The Chronicle of Higher Education published an article by Peter Suber and Darius Cuplinskas, daringly entitled “Open Access to Scientific Research Can Save Lives”. It relates the case of 15 year-old Jack Andraka, who recently announced he had invented a diagnostic test for pancreatic cancer.