When Is Open Access Not Open Access?

When Is Open Access Not Open Access? Editorial Catriona J. MacCallum ince 2003, when PLoS Biology Box 1. The Bethesda Statement on Open-Access Publishing was launched, there has been This is taken from http:⁄⁄www.earlham.edu/~peters/fos/bethesda.htm. Sa spectacular growth in “open- An Open Access Publication is one that meets the following two conditions: access” journals. The Directory of Open Access Journals (http:⁄⁄www. 1. The author(s) and copyright holder(s) grant(s) to all users a free, irrevocable, doaj.org/), hosted by Lund University worldwide, perpetual right of access to, and a license to copy, use, distribute, transmit Libraries, lists 2,816 open-access and display the work publicly and to make and distribute derivative works, in any digital journals as this article goes to press medium for any responsible purpose, subject to proper attribution of authorship , as (and probably more by the time you well as the right to make small numbers of printed copies for their personal use. read this). Authors also have various 2. A complete version of the work and all supplemental materials, including a copy of “open-access” options within existing the permission as stated above, in a suitable standard electronic format is deposited subscription journals offered by immediately upon initial publication in at least one online repository that is supported traditional publishers (e.g., Blackwell, by an academic institution, scholarly society, government agency, or other well- Springer, Oxford University Press, and established organization that seeks to enable open access, unrestricted distribution, many others). In return for a fee to interoperability, and long-term archiving (for the biomedical sciences, PubMed Central the publisher, an author’s individual is such a repository). article is made freely available and Open access is a property of individual works, not necessarily journals or publishers. (sometimes) deposited in PubMed Community standards, rather than copyright law, will continue to provide the Central (PMC). But, as open access mechanism for enforcement of proper attribution and responsible use of the published grows in prominence, so too has work, as they do now. confusion about what open access means, particularly with regard to unrestricted use of content—which Council, the Department of Health, the biology4u.gr), use it for educational true open access allows. This confusion British Heart Foundation, and Cancer purposes (e.g., [3]), or, most is being promulgated by journal Research UK all now require their importantly, for purposes that we can’t publishers at the expense of authors grant holders to make their research yet envisage. This is because the open- and funding agencies wanting to articles available in UKPMC as soon as access license most commonly used— support open access. possible (and no later than six months) the Creative Commons Attribution Research funding agencies have after publication. (Regular updates on license (http:⁄⁄creativecommons.org/ been instrumental in driving the open-access mandates and policies are licenses/)—permits derivative reuse, change toward open-access publishing. available at http:⁄⁄www.eprints.org/ as long as the author is correctly cited Many agencies now require the openaccess/policysignup/.) and attributed for the work. It is the researchers they fund to make their All these initiatives signal the most liberal of the available Creative articles freely available on publication, ongoing transition from subscription- Commons licenses (there are six), or within 6 or 12 months of publication based to open-access publishing of which are now applied widely to books, (the most up-to-date information about the scholarly research. It seems we music, videos, etc., as well as scholarly such developments is available from are fi nally witnessing a sea change in works. It is important to note that of the blog of Peter Suber, a leading scientifi c communication. But with this the six different Creative Commons scholar in the open-access movement welcome trend comes a more insidious licenses, only those that permit [1]). The Wellcome trust, which has one to obscure the true meaning unrestricted derivative use (which may led the charge among funders, was of open access by confusing it with be limited to noncommercial use) truly also behind the recent launch of the free access. As the original Bethesda equate with open access. European equivalent of PubMed defi nition makes clear [2] (Box 1), Central (UKPMC; http:⁄⁄ukpmc. open access allows for unrestricted ac.uk/), a free digital archive of Citation: MacCallum CJ, (2007) When is open access derivative use; free access does not. So biomedical and life sciences journal not open access? PLoS Biol 5(10): e285. doi:10.1371/ journal.pbio.0050285 the beauty of open-access publishing literature, which aims to mirror that is not just that you can download and created and hosted by the National Copyright: © 2007 Catriona J. MacCallum. This is read an article for personal use. You an open-access article distributed under the terms Institutes of Health in the United of the Creative Commons Attribution License, can also redistribute it, make derivative States (http:⁄⁄www.pubmedcentral.nih. which permits unrestricted use, distribution, copies of it (such as reproducing it in gov/). European funding agencies are and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited. another language; several PLoS Biology already responding to this resource. articles have been reproduced, in whole For example, within the United Catriona J. MacCallum is Senior Editor at PLoS Biology. or in part, in Greek on http:⁄⁄www. Kingdom, the Medical Research E-mail: cmaccallum@plos.org PLoS Biology | www.plosbiology.org PLoS Biology | www.plosbiology.org 2095 October 2007 | Volume 5 | Issue 10 | e285 New York Times science writer Carl Box 2. Examples of License Agreements and Open Access Zimmer demonstrated the distinction Four of the fi ve journals, whose license statements are listed below, use a Creative succinctly [4]. He discusses a recent Commons license (http:⁄⁄creativecommons.org/about/licenses/meet-the-licenses). case where Wiley threatened legal Of these, PLoS Biology, BMC Biology, and Nucleic Acids Research conform to open action after a neuroscience graduate access, as defi ned by the Bethesda Statement (Box 1). PLoS Biology and BMC Biology posted some fi gures from one of their apply the Creative Commons “Attribution” (by) license to their articles, whereas journal articles on her blog (despite Nucleic Acids Research applies the Creative Commons “Attribution Non-commercial” the fact that this is already permitted (by-nc) license. under terms of “fair dealing” or “fair Molecular Systems Biology also applies a Creative Commons license to their articles, use”). His response was: but this journal provides free access rather than open access, because they do not “Compare Shelley’s experience allow any derivative works to be made without permission. The particular license they to what I’m about to do. I’m going use is the Creative Commons “Attribution Non-commercial No derivatives” (by-nc-nd) to—shudder—reprint a diagram from license. a journal. Just lift it straight out. ….And The journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS) does not use a what do I now hear from PLOS? Do I Creative Commons license, but they do have a free access option. Their articles can be hear the grinding of lawyerly knives? used for a wide range of purposes without permission, but the creation of derivative No. I hear the blissful silence of Open works is still restricted so this option is also not open access. Access, a slowly-spreading trend in Open Access (Permits Unrestricted Derivative Use): the journal world. PLOS makes it very • PLoS Biology (http:⁄⁄plosbiology.org) clear on their web site that “everything Copyright: © 2007 Jetz et al. This is an open-access article distributed under the we publish is freely available online terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted throughout the world, for you to read, use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author download, copy, distribute, and use and source are credited. (with attribution) any way you wish.” No muss, no fuss. If I want to blog • BMC Biology (http:⁄⁄www.biomedcentral.com/bmcbiol/) about this paper right now, I can grab © 2007 Hoffman and Goodisman; licensee BioMed Central Ltd. a relevant image right now from it. In This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons fact, I just did.” [4] Attribution License (http:⁄⁄creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0), which permits Subsequent to an outcry within the unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the blogoshpere (for a summary, see [5]), original work is properly cited. Wiley withdrew their threat of legal • Nucleic Acids Research (http:⁄⁄nar.oxfordjournals.org/) action. But the license that enabled © 2007 The Author(s) Zimmer to extract the information he This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons needed without worry is used by all Attribution Non-Commercial License (http:⁄⁄creativecommons.org/licenses/by- the established open-access publishers, nc/2.0/uk/) which permits unrestricted non-commercial use, distribution, and such as PLoS, BioMed Central, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. Hindawi, as well as some traditional Free Access (Does Not Permit Unrestricted Derivative Use): publishers, such as Oxford University • Molecular Systems Biology (http:⁄⁄www.nature.com/msb/index.html) Press (OUP). Examples of the license This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons from some journals are given in Box Attribution License, which permits distribution, and reproduction in any medium, 2, and each statement is explicit about provided the original author and source are credited. This license does not permit how the article may be used. In all commercial exploitation or the creation of derivative works without specifi c cases, copyright is held by the authors, permission. although this is not strictly necessary; as © 2007 EMBO and Nature Publishing Group All rights reserved (on the pdf). long as there is unrestricted derivative use, the copyright could be held by • PNAS (http:⁄⁄www.pnas.org/) the author or the publisher and still be Freely available online through the PNAS open access option. regarded as open access. © 2007 by The National Academy of Sciences of the USA. Other journals purporting to be “open access” or publishers with an “open-access option” are not all that worldwide, ensuring maximum is licensed under the “Attribution” they seem. Take, for example, the dissemination of content through the license. However, when you click journal Molecular Systems Biology. This nature.com platform.” The publisher through to the full version, you are is listed as an open-access journal by charges a publication fee (like PLoS) presented with the most restrictive the DOAJ and published by the Nature and publishes their content under a Creative Commons license available, Publishing Group. On the journal Creative Commons license (also like the “Attribution-Noncommercial- website (http:⁄⁄www.nature.com/msb/ PLoS). But that’s where the similarities No Derivative Works” license. The index.html), there is a prominent link end. The Creative Commons license article can still be downloaded and in the left hand column titled “open used is actually very different, despite redistributed (for personal use), but access.” Here, you are informed that the fact that at the bottom of the permission from the publisher is the journal “makes primary research HTML version of any of their articles, required for any additional derivative freely available to all researchers there is a statement that the article use (see also Box 2). What exactly have PLoS Biology | www.plosbiology.org PLoS Biology | www.plosbiology.org 2096 October 2007 | Volume 5 | Issue 10 | e285 the authors—or, more likely, their literature available? Well, yes and no. might be, it is detrimental to the free funding agencies—agreed to pay for Free access is certainly important, but exchange and use of scholarly research. here? It is certainly not open access as it’s only the starting point. At least of It is now time for all publishers to defi ned by the Bethesda Statement [2]. equal importance is the potential for tighten the defi nition and application Some journals do not claim to be innovation. We don’t know yet what of open access and be clearer about fully open access but provide an “open- innovation means with regards to the the uses and restrictions applied to access option” that permits articles full text of an article—who could have their articles. Open access is a term to be deposited in PMC and thus predicted the impact GenBank would that should only be used when the conforms to the minimum guidelines have or the uses that sequences are now license permits both free access and set by, e.g., the Wellcome Trust. But being put to? As one colleague put it, unrestricted derivative use (and gives confusion abounds here as well. If free access is like giving a child a Lego appropriate attribution). Authors and you search various journal sites for car and telling her that she can look at funders need to be much more aware “open-access” options, you’ll fi nd it it, perhaps touch it, but certainly not of the small print before inadvertently enormously diffi cult to obtain clearly take it apart and make an airplane from signing away their rights and those of labeled information describing how it. The full potential of the work cannot their readers and, even worse, paying you can use the article. Often an article be realized [6]. good money for the privilege. is free to read, and has been deposited What’s worrying is that there Perhaps the real key to establishing a in the US PMC, but it’s not clear from are already examples of publishers broad consensus around the meaning of the terms on the article that it can be restricting use of their “free-access” open access will be the development of distributed freely to others or reused articles, even in international resources that demonstrate the potential without explicit permission from the repositories. For example, some of the of unrestricted reuse of the literature— appropriate permissions department. publishers that currently allow their the “Lego factor.” If certain work is not Again, this is not open access. articles to be deposited in the US PMC included in these resources because of A particularly befuddling example will not allow those same articles to be restrictive license agreements, authors comes from the Journal of Biological mirrored and made available from the will probably pay much closer attention Chemistry (JBC). The JBC website states UK site (a list of these journals can be to the claim that a publisher is “open that it is an “open-access” journal and found at http:⁄⁄ukpmc.ac.uk/ppmc- access.” Enlightened self-interest can be that their publisher—the American localhtml/not_in_ukpmc.html). It’s a powerful force. Society for Biochemistry and Molecular hard to understand the reasoning for References Biology (ASBMB)—is an “open- this limitation—after all, the articles 1. Suber P. Open access news. Available at: access” publisher (http:⁄⁄www.jbc. are freely available from the US site. http:⁄⁄www.earlham.edu/~peters/fos/fosblog. html. Accessed 30 August 2007. org/misc/JBC_Open_Access.shtml). But what’s disturbing is that publishers 2. (2003) Bethesda Statement on open access They don’t charge a publication fee can act like this because the articles publishing, Available at: http:⁄⁄www.earlham. edu/~peters/fos/bethesda.htm. Accessed 30 as such but do have page charges like themselves are not truly open access— August 2007. many traditional journals (US$75 per who knows what further restrictions 3. Millman SP, Anderson B (2004) Monkey see, published page). What you actually fi nd might be placed on these articles in the monkey do: Comparing baboon and human development. New York Times, Daily Lesson is that manuscripts that are currently future. Plan. Available at: http:⁄⁄www.nytimes.com/ in press are available for free but those So although true open access is learning/teachers/lessons/20040413tuesday. published in the current issue are not. unquestionably good for science, html?searchpv=learning_lessons, Accessed 30 August 2007. On the table of contents of the current there is a real concern that the precise 4. Zimmer C (2007) An open mouse. Scitizen. issue, there is a helpful permissions meaning of the term is being corrupted Available at: http:⁄⁄www.scitizen.com/screens/ blogPage/viewBlog/sw_viewBlog.php?idThem button next to each article that links and eroded. Not all of the confusion e=31&idContribution=652. Accessed 30 August to a webpage that helps you calculate about open access that currently the charges for different uses (even for permeates the scholarly publishing 5. Coturnix (26 April 2007 12:53) Fair use and open science. A blog around the clock. posting on the internet). It is unclear industry is likely to be intentional (at Available at:http:⁄⁄scienceblogs.com/ how this qualifi es as open access. least not all of it); much arises from clock/2007/04/fair_use_and_open_science. Does the distinction between free a genuine misunderstanding of open php. Accessed 30 August 2007. 6 Surridge C (7 March 2007 05:13) Free but not and open access really matter if anyone access by funders, authors, editors, and open? PLoS Blogs. Available at: http:⁄⁄www. can read the article for free? Isn’t publishers alike. However, no matter plos.org/cms/node/238. Accessed 30 August open access just about making the how unintentional such obfuscation PLoS Biology | www.plosbiology.org PLoS Biology | www.plosbiology.org 2097 October 2007 | Volume 5 | Issue 10 | e285 http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png PLoS biology PubMed Central

When Is Open Access Not Open Access?

PLoS biology, Volume 5 (10): 1 – Oct 16, 2007

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© 2007 Catriona J. MacCallum.
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1544-9173
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10.1371/journal.pbio.0050285
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Abstract

Editorial Catriona J. MacCallum ince 2003, when PLoS Biology Box 1. The Bethesda Statement on Open-Access Publishing was launched, there has been This is taken from http:⁄⁄www.earlham.edu/~peters/fos/bethesda.htm. Sa spectacular growth in “open- An Open Access Publication is one that meets the following two conditions: access” journals. The Directory of Open Access Journals (http:⁄⁄www. 1. The author(s) and copyright holder(s) grant(s) to all users a free, irrevocable, doaj.org/), hosted by Lund University worldwide, perpetual right of access to, and a license to copy, use, distribute, transmit Libraries, lists 2,816 open-access and display the work publicly and to make and distribute derivative works, in any digital journals as this article goes to press medium for any responsible purpose, subject to proper attribution of authorship , as (and probably more by the time you well as the right to make small numbers of printed copies for their personal use. read this). Authors also have various 2. A complete version of the work and all supplemental materials, including a copy of “open-access” options within existing the permission as stated above, in a suitable standard electronic format is deposited subscription journals offered by immediately upon initial publication in at least one online repository that is supported traditional publishers (e.g., Blackwell, by an academic institution, scholarly society, government agency, or other well- Springer, Oxford University Press, and established organization that seeks to enable open access, unrestricted distribution, many others). In return for a fee to interoperability, and long-term archiving (for the biomedical sciences, PubMed Central the publisher, an author’s individual is such a repository). article is made freely available and Open access is a property of individual works, not necessarily journals or publishers. (sometimes) deposited in PubMed Community standards, rather than copyright law, will continue to provide the Central (PMC). But, as open access mechanism for enforcement of proper attribution and responsible use of the published grows in prominence, so too has work, as they do now. confusion about what open access means, particularly with regard to unrestricted use of content—which Council, the Department of Health, the biology4u.gr), use it for educational true open access allows. This confusion British Heart Foundation, and Cancer purposes (e.g., [3]), or, most is being promulgated by journal Research UK all now require their importantly, for purposes that we can’t publishers at the expense of authors grant holders to make their research yet envisage. This is because the open- and funding agencies wanting to articles available in UKPMC as soon as access license most commonly used— support open access. possible (and no later than six months) the Creative Commons Attribution Research funding agencies have after publication. (Regular updates on license (http:⁄⁄creativecommons.org/ been instrumental in driving the open-access mandates and policies are licenses/)—permits derivative reuse, change toward open-access publishing. available at http:⁄⁄www.eprints.org/ as long as the author is correctly cited Many agencies now require the openaccess/policysignup/.) and attributed for the work. It is the researchers they fund to make their All these initiatives signal the most liberal of the available Creative articles freely available on publication, ongoing transition from subscription- Commons licenses (there are six), or within 6 or 12 months of publication based to open-access publishing of which are now applied widely to books, (the most up-to-date information about the scholarly research. It seems we music, videos, etc., as well as scholarly such developments is available from are fi nally witnessing a sea change in works. It is important to note that of the blog of Peter Suber, a leading scientifi c communication. But with this the six different Creative Commons scholar in the open-access movement welcome trend comes a more insidious licenses, only those that permit [1]). The Wellcome trust, which has one to obscure the true meaning unrestricted derivative use (which may led the charge among funders, was of open access by confusing it with be limited to noncommercial use) truly also behind the recent launch of the free access. As the original Bethesda equate with open access. European equivalent of PubMed defi nition makes clear [2] (Box 1), Central (UKPMC; http:⁄⁄ukpmc. open access allows for unrestricted ac.uk/), a free digital archive of Citation: MacCallum CJ, (2007) When is open access derivative use; free access does not. So biomedical and life sciences journal not open access? PLoS Biol 5(10): e285. doi:10.1371/ journal.pbio.0050285 the beauty of open-access publishing literature, which aims to mirror that is not just that you can download and created and hosted by the National Copyright: © 2007 Catriona J. MacCallum. This is read an article for personal use. You an open-access article distributed under the terms Institutes of Health in the United of the Creative Commons Attribution License, can also redistribute it, make derivative States (http:⁄⁄www.pubmedcentral.nih. which permits unrestricted use, distribution, copies of it (such as reproducing it in gov/). European funding agencies are and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited. another language; several PLoS Biology already responding to this resource. articles have been reproduced, in whole For example, within the United Catriona J. MacCallum is Senior Editor at PLoS Biology. or in part, in Greek on http:⁄⁄www. Kingdom, the Medical Research E-mail: cmaccallum@plos.org PLoS Biology | www.plosbiology.org PLoS Biology | www.plosbiology.org 2095 October 2007 | Volume 5 | Issue 10 | e285 New York Times science writer Carl Box 2. Examples of License Agreements and Open Access Zimmer demonstrated the distinction Four of the fi ve journals, whose license statements are listed below, use a Creative succinctly [4]. He discusses a recent Commons license (http:⁄⁄creativecommons.org/about/licenses/meet-the-licenses). case where Wiley threatened legal Of these, PLoS Biology, BMC Biology, and Nucleic Acids Research conform to open action after a neuroscience graduate access, as defi ned by the Bethesda Statement (Box 1). PLoS Biology and BMC Biology posted some fi gures from one of their apply the Creative Commons “Attribution” (by) license to their articles, whereas journal articles on her blog (despite Nucleic Acids Research applies the Creative Commons “Attribution Non-commercial” the fact that this is already permitted (by-nc) license. under terms of “fair dealing” or “fair Molecular Systems Biology also applies a Creative Commons license to their articles, use”). His response was: but this journal provides free access rather than open access, because they do not “Compare Shelley’s experience allow any derivative works to be made without permission. The particular license they to what I’m about to do. I’m going use is the Creative Commons “Attribution Non-commercial No derivatives” (by-nc-nd) to—shudder—reprint a diagram from license. a journal. Just lift it straight out. ….And The journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS) does not use a what do I now hear from PLOS? Do I Creative Commons license, but they do have a free access option. Their articles can be hear the grinding of lawyerly knives? used for a wide range of purposes without permission, but the creation of derivative No. I hear the blissful silence of Open works is still restricted so this option is also not open access. Access, a slowly-spreading trend in Open Access (Permits Unrestricted Derivative Use): the journal world. PLOS makes it very • PLoS Biology (http:⁄⁄plosbiology.org) clear on their web site that “everything Copyright: © 2007 Jetz et al. This is an open-access article distributed under the we publish is freely available online terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted throughout the world, for you to read, use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author download, copy, distribute, and use and source are credited. (with attribution) any way you wish.” No muss, no fuss. If I want to blog • BMC Biology (http:⁄⁄www.biomedcentral.com/bmcbiol/) about this paper right now, I can grab © 2007 Hoffman and Goodisman; licensee BioMed Central Ltd. a relevant image right now from it. In This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons fact, I just did.” [4] Attribution License (http:⁄⁄creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0), which permits Subsequent to an outcry within the unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the blogoshpere (for a summary, see [5]), original work is properly cited. Wiley withdrew their threat of legal • Nucleic Acids Research (http:⁄⁄nar.oxfordjournals.org/) action. But the license that enabled © 2007 The Author(s) Zimmer to extract the information he This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons needed without worry is used by all Attribution Non-Commercial License (http:⁄⁄creativecommons.org/licenses/by- the established open-access publishers, nc/2.0/uk/) which permits unrestricted non-commercial use, distribution, and such as PLoS, BioMed Central, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. Hindawi, as well as some traditional Free Access (Does Not Permit Unrestricted Derivative Use): publishers, such as Oxford University • Molecular Systems Biology (http:⁄⁄www.nature.com/msb/index.html) Press (OUP). Examples of the license This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons from some journals are given in Box Attribution License, which permits distribution, and reproduction in any medium, 2, and each statement is explicit about provided the original author and source are credited. This license does not permit how the article may be used. In all commercial exploitation or the creation of derivative works without specifi c cases, copyright is held by the authors, permission. although this is not strictly necessary; as © 2007 EMBO and Nature Publishing Group All rights reserved (on the pdf). long as there is unrestricted derivative use, the copyright could be held by • PNAS (http:⁄⁄www.pnas.org/) the author or the publisher and still be Freely available online through the PNAS open access option. regarded as open access. © 2007 by The National Academy of Sciences of the USA. Other journals purporting to be “open access” or publishers with an “open-access option” are not all that worldwide, ensuring maximum is licensed under the “Attribution” they seem. Take, for example, the dissemination of content through the license. However, when you click journal Molecular Systems Biology. This nature.com platform.” The publisher through to the full version, you are is listed as an open-access journal by charges a publication fee (like PLoS) presented with the most restrictive the DOAJ and published by the Nature and publishes their content under a Creative Commons license available, Publishing Group. On the journal Creative Commons license (also like the “Attribution-Noncommercial- website (http:⁄⁄www.nature.com/msb/ PLoS). But that’s where the similarities No Derivative Works” license. The index.html), there is a prominent link end. The Creative Commons license article can still be downloaded and in the left hand column titled “open used is actually very different, despite redistributed (for personal use), but access.” Here, you are informed that the fact that at the bottom of the permission from the publisher is the journal “makes primary research HTML version of any of their articles, required for any additional derivative freely available to all researchers there is a statement that the article use (see also Box 2). What exactly have PLoS Biology | www.plosbiology.org PLoS Biology | www.plosbiology.org 2096 October 2007 | Volume 5 | Issue 10 | e285 the authors—or, more likely, their literature available? Well, yes and no. might be, it is detrimental to the free funding agencies—agreed to pay for Free access is certainly important, but exchange and use of scholarly research. here? It is certainly not open access as it’s only the starting point. At least of It is now time for all publishers to defi ned by the Bethesda Statement [2]. equal importance is the potential for tighten the defi nition and application Some journals do not claim to be innovation. We don’t know yet what of open access and be clearer about fully open access but provide an “open- innovation means with regards to the the uses and restrictions applied to access option” that permits articles full text of an article—who could have their articles. Open access is a term to be deposited in PMC and thus predicted the impact GenBank would that should only be used when the conforms to the minimum guidelines have or the uses that sequences are now license permits both free access and set by, e.g., the Wellcome Trust. But being put to? As one colleague put it, unrestricted derivative use (and gives confusion abounds here as well. If free access is like giving a child a Lego appropriate attribution). Authors and you search various journal sites for car and telling her that she can look at funders need to be much more aware “open-access” options, you’ll fi nd it it, perhaps touch it, but certainly not of the small print before inadvertently enormously diffi cult to obtain clearly take it apart and make an airplane from signing away their rights and those of labeled information describing how it. The full potential of the work cannot their readers and, even worse, paying you can use the article. Often an article be realized [6]. good money for the privilege. is free to read, and has been deposited What’s worrying is that there Perhaps the real key to establishing a in the US PMC, but it’s not clear from are already examples of publishers broad consensus around the meaning of the terms on the article that it can be restricting use of their “free-access” open access will be the development of distributed freely to others or reused articles, even in international resources that demonstrate the potential without explicit permission from the repositories. For example, some of the of unrestricted reuse of the literature— appropriate permissions department. publishers that currently allow their the “Lego factor.” If certain work is not Again, this is not open access. articles to be deposited in the US PMC included in these resources because of A particularly befuddling example will not allow those same articles to be restrictive license agreements, authors comes from the Journal of Biological mirrored and made available from the will probably pay much closer attention Chemistry (JBC). The JBC website states UK site (a list of these journals can be to the claim that a publisher is “open that it is an “open-access” journal and found at http:⁄⁄ukpmc.ac.uk/ppmc- access.” Enlightened self-interest can be that their publisher—the American localhtml/not_in_ukpmc.html). It’s a powerful force. Society for Biochemistry and Molecular hard to understand the reasoning for References Biology (ASBMB)—is an “open- this limitation—after all, the articles 1. Suber P. Open access news. Available at: access” publisher (http:⁄⁄www.jbc. are freely available from the US site. http:⁄⁄www.earlham.edu/~peters/fos/fosblog. html. Accessed 30 August 2007. org/misc/JBC_Open_Access.shtml). But what’s disturbing is that publishers 2. (2003) Bethesda Statement on open access They don’t charge a publication fee can act like this because the articles publishing, Available at: http:⁄⁄www.earlham. edu/~peters/fos/bethesda.htm. Accessed 30 as such but do have page charges like themselves are not truly open access— August 2007. many traditional journals (US$75 per who knows what further restrictions 3. Millman SP, Anderson B (2004) Monkey see, published page). What you actually fi nd might be placed on these articles in the monkey do: Comparing baboon and human development. New York Times, Daily Lesson is that manuscripts that are currently future. Plan. Available at: http:⁄⁄www.nytimes.com/ in press are available for free but those So although true open access is learning/teachers/lessons/20040413tuesday. published in the current issue are not. unquestionably good for science, html?searchpv=learning_lessons, Accessed 30 August 2007. On the table of contents of the current there is a real concern that the precise 4. Zimmer C (2007) An open mouse. Scitizen. issue, there is a helpful permissions meaning of the term is being corrupted Available at: http:⁄⁄www.scitizen.com/screens/ blogPage/viewBlog/sw_viewBlog.php?idThem button next to each article that links and eroded. Not all of the confusion e=31&idContribution=652. Accessed 30 August to a webpage that helps you calculate about open access that currently the charges for different uses (even for permeates the scholarly publishing 5. Coturnix (26 April 2007 12:53) Fair use and open science. A blog around the clock. posting on the internet). It is unclear industry is likely to be intentional (at Available at:http:⁄⁄scienceblogs.com/ how this qualifi es as open access. least not all of it); much arises from clock/2007/04/fair_use_and_open_science. Does the distinction between free a genuine misunderstanding of open php. Accessed 30 August 2007. 6 Surridge C (7 March 2007 05:13) Free but not and open access really matter if anyone access by funders, authors, editors, and open? PLoS Blogs. Available at: http:⁄⁄www. can read the article for free? Isn’t publishers alike. However, no matter plos.org/cms/node/238. Accessed 30 August open access just about making the how unintentional such obfuscation PLoS Biology | www.plosbiology.org PLoS Biology | www.plosbiology.org 2097 October 2007 | Volume 5 | Issue 10 | e285

Journal

PLoS biologyPubMed Central

Published: Oct 16, 2007

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