Wednesday, 28 September 2011

Prince of Universities

All Hail Princeton - for deciding on a policy of open access to the work its staff generate. No more handing copyright over to journals (who don't pay their contributors and reviewers): they've more or less decided that research paid for by the public (through taxation or directly through fees) should be freely available for the public good.
Universities pay millions of dollars a year for academic journal subscriptions. People without subscriptions, which can cost up to $25,000 a year for some journals or hundreds of dollars for a single issue, are often prevented from reading taxpayer funded research. Individual articles are also commonly locked behind pay walls.
I think this is the way forward. Obviously access to my wisdom has only been limited by the narrow outlets for Welsh writing in English scholarship: pent-up demand would be released like a tsunami once copyright and access issues are resolved. More seriously, most academic work in this country is paid for by the public, who are then denied access to it. One objection might be that corporations would also get free access to expensive work paid for by other people: that does make sense to me, though I'm sure there are ways round this, using one of the Creative Commons non-commercial use licences.

I'll be advocating this approach at the Dark Place.

No comments: