Wednesday, June 08, 2005

Other Advantages of Open Source

Another good thing and really the key advantage of Open Source is not cost savings.
Reduced dependence on software vendors appears more important than low cost

Computer Economics recently conducted a survey of visitors to its website regarding the perceived advantages in the use of open source software. Although not a scientific sample, the results are nevertheless startling.

As nearly everyone knows, open source software is a low cost alternative to proprietary software. For example, the open source Linux operating system is commonly seen as a low cost alternative to Microsoft’s Server 2003 operating system, or Sun’s version of Unix. The popularity of open source is seen in the fact that today the largest market share for web servers is held by the open source Apache system.

One might think, therefore, that the key advantage of open source software is its low cost of ownership. But visitors to our website didn’t think so.

Via Frank Scavo

Sunday, June 05, 2005

Dutch academics declare research free-for-all

Scientists from all major Dutch universities officially launched a website a couple of weeks ago where all their research material can be accessed for free. Interested parties can get hold of a total of 47,000 digital documents from 16 institutions the Digital Academic Repositories. No other nation in the world offers such easy access to its complete academic research output in digital form, the researchers claim. Obviously, commercial publishers are not amused.

DAREnet was already launched about a year ago, but for demonstration purposes only. The €2m DARE programme - a joint initiative by all the Dutch universities, the National Library of the Netherlands, the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences (KNAW) and the Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research (NWO) - harvests all digital available material from local repositories, making it fully searchable. Aside from bibliographical information, the content can be full text, or even audio and video files.

The initiative is clearly not welcomed by commercial scientific publishers such as Elsevier Science. Increasingly, universities complain about the high cost of scientific journals and many argue that the research results should be distributed freely or at significantly less cost to library subscribers.

Via Jan Libbenga

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