Monday, August 2, 2004

News Analysis - Screen Door: How Growing Support for Open Access Journals Challenges Content Markets

On two continents legislators in recent weeks have decided that the benefits of publishers and aggregators taking substantial profits for distributing publicly financed scientific research no longer outweigh the costs to the individuals and institutions funding that research. First in the U.S. House of Representatives and then in the U.K.'s Parliament, the proposals for opening up public research to free access have already spurred Oxford Press to join the open access journal bandwagon. Aggregators will hem and haw and lobby all they want, but the fundamental question of their value has been broached in ways that their clients are not likely to let them forget. It's time for aggregators and publishers of scientific content to make major decisions about their futures - before the screen door hits them on the way out of the picture.

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