The “Great Conversation” Begins At Home: U. Michigan’s Open Access Week

Following University of Michigan’s Library’s Open Access Week
Molly Kleinman has blogged Lessons from Open Access Week

Some Responses:

Question: Surely there was some discussion of Michigan congressman John Conyer’s Bill HR 801 attempting to overturn the NIH OA mandate?

Comment 1: Whether one accepts the definition of the two kinds of Open Access (“gratis” and “libre”) or one prefers to deny free access the honorific of “open,” the fact is that we do not even have free online access (whatever we choose to call it), and that asking nonproviding authors to do more, and asking institutions and funders to mandate that they do more is even more difficult than just getting them to provide the free online access, which only 72 institutions and funders — out of perhaps 10,000 worldwide — are so far doing. (Without even that, it’s all just a name-game.)

(Whether there is really any burning need for “re-use rights” for the verbatim texts of peer-reviewed research journal articles (as opposed to research data, or Disney cartoons) is perhaps also worth giving some more thought.)

Comment 2: For how students can help OA, see: “The University’s Mandate To Mandate Open Access.”

Comment 3: Before getting too caught up in the theory of the “Great Conversation,” it might be a good idea to make sure free access (at the very least) is provided to its target content — by mandating OA (for example, at University of Michigan!)

Stevan Harnad
American Scientist Open Access Forum