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Amused Muse

Inspiring dissent and debate and the love of dissonance

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Master's Degree holder, telecommuting from the hot tub, proud Darwinian Dawkobot, and pirate librarian belly-dancer bohemian secret agent scribe on a mission to rescue bloggers from the wholesome clutches of the pious backstabbing girl fridays of the world.



Saturday, February 23, 2008

Harvard Votes for the Open Access Policy

Harvard University faculty in the art and the sciences voted on February 12 to approve the Open Access Policy, which will give the general public free online access to the university's scholarly articles. Harvard's library will act as a repository for the material through its new Office of Scholarly Communication. Faculty will retain copyright, and can for special cases request waivers of the free license.

This is a major triumph for the advocates of free, open, and permanent access of peer-reviewed and scholarly information for the public. I heartily applaud Harvard's decision.

How can the public trust peer-reviewed, scholarly information if it doesn't have access to it, and/or doesn't know what it is? (Peer-reviewed, for example, does not mean that a friend of yours writes a good review of your article to help you out - as is the case with creationist "scientific" articles.)

The cost of journals has skyrocketed in recent years, to the point that some libraries are forced to cancel their subscriptions, further restricting access. I do not agree with the Association of American Publishers Vice President for Legal and Governmental Affairs, Allan Adler, when he says that this and the congressional mandate that publicly funded scholarship (PubMed) be made freely available to the public, will damage the peer-review process. If anything, the mandate and free access will help make the peer-review process more transparent and comprehensible to the public.

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2 Comments:

Blogger aredant said...

It sounds like peer review is sometimes abused and that collusion does take place. There appears to be no information as to the amount of fraud that occurs, however I sems that the fraud that takes place is more on the order of faked test subjects or fudged data and not the acceptance of preposterous and absurd papers like those of written about ID.

February 25, 2008 10:06 AM  
Blogger Kristine said...

Fraud will out, and does. The bad papers that occasionally get in will not be cited and will disappear.

I think it will be instructive to those who are so stubborn as to persist in their belief that a "conspiracy" keeps creationist papers out to see what an academic paper really is. Science to creationism is like high art to potholders.

February 25, 2008 5:18 PM  

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