Ethics. Research. Community.

[Reconceptualising the meaning of scientific communication: open access]

Médecine sciences : M/S. 
2008 Jun-Jul
[Record Source: PubMed]
The recent US law (H.R.2764) affecting NIH policy and the recent unanimous vote by the Arts and Science faculty of Harvard University in favour of a mandatory deposit of researchers' publications in a suitable repository have brought the Open Access movement into public light. After reviewing the historical background of Open Access, its evolution and extension in the United States, Great Britain, France and Canada are examined. Policies aiming at strengthening Open Access to scientific research are viewed as the direct consequence of treating scientific publishing as an integral part of the research cycle. It should, therefore, be wrapped into the financing of research. As the greater part of research is funded by public money, it appears legitimate to make its results as widely available as is possible. Open Access journals and repositories with strong deposit mandates form the backbone of the strategies to achieve the objective of Open Access. Despite the claims of some publishers, Open Access does not weaken or threaten the peer review process, and it does not conflict with copyright laws.
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