Thursday, June 10, 2004

Members of Open Access

The U. of Bergen is not a member yet of this great Open Access group of institutions and scholars that have began publishing peer reviewed cientific articles in the Internet. This is a great initiative because it consideres knowledge as an open and public good that should not be merchandised and make for profit.

Professor Elba S. Vázquez from FCEN, University of Buenos Aires, Argentina has this to say about her experience "The ability to submit a paper on the web is extremely important in developing countries, as it reduces the costs of posting and printing manuscripts. Furthermore, and perhaps the most important reason for submitting was the knowledge that open access to scientific information allows the whole scientific community to read our article, achieving an optimal distribution of knowledge."

Bio Med Central has to charge for the publishing costs but it also makes provisions for scholars who do not have the means to make their research work known. For scholars from low-income countries there is a free waiver provision so that in two days they get to know if Bio Med Central will take care of the costs of publishing.

Any researcher or Medicine Doctor can submitt an article for review. So far this great collection of free access journals (on the field of bio-medicine) has succeded in their Open Access goals.

I hope that the Humanities and Social Sciences will soon be able to follow this type of initiative. I am aware that The University of Lund has created a Directory of Open Access Journals where people from many other disciplines like me, can look for articles for free and this is very good. But the stakes at BioMed look higher and should be imitated and perfected.


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