More Than Just Access: Delivering on a Network-Enabled Literature
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© 2012 Cameron Neylon
By any measure it has been a huge year for the open-access movement. At the beginning of the year, it looked possible that the public access policy of the US National Institutes of Health (NIH) might be rolled back by the Research Works Act, a legislative attempt supported by Elsevier and the Association of American Publishers to make such policies illegal . But as we move towards year’s end, the momentum behind open access looks unstoppable with the announcement of major policy initiatives in the United States, the European Union, Denmark, and the United Kingdom (see Table 1). Nevertheless, there is still much to be done and the challenges remain large, but the remaining questions are largely ones of implementation, not principle. Each year, a range of open-access organizations support Open Access Week (http://www.openaccessweek.org/), a global event that provides the research community, funding agencies, policy makers, and open-access publishers with an opportunity to discuss, publicize, and advocate for open access. With this year’s successes, it is also a good time to reflect on and to consider how we ensure that the promise of open access is delivered. But if we are to exploit the potential that open access provides, we must look beyond just making research findings accessible to ensuring that they are legally and technically available for re-use.
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