Open Access to Scientific Literature

From HubLog via Open Access News: Physiological Genomics is adopting the Prosser Method of offering open access: Pay to have your article published, leaving all text, figures, and supplementary material open access, or let the article be published under a standard subscription(including page charges too, I’d guess). It’s clearly the way to go for someone who believes “free and unfettered exchange of information” is crucial to the scientific process.

Most people at most research institutions can get a hold of an article if they want it, because the institution will have a subscription. My undergraduate institution didn’t have online access to anything but pubmed, though, so you had to schlep down to the library and copy it, if you wanted the full article. It was like the internet didn’t exist to these people, ironically called the Information Science group. Then there was the time they canceled their print subscriptions to Science, Nature, and PNAS because they were too expensive….

In the near future, when trackback enables a ubiquitous commentary system, we’ll wonder why it took so long.

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