The MIT press has just published a new book by Peter Suber which offers a concise introduction to open access. Suber, the key chronicler and de facto leader of the worldwide open access movement, says that the book is intended to be “short enough for busy people to read.”
In 170 pages, Suber covers all the bases: what open access is; why we should be motivated to make scholarly work openly accessible; what kinds of open access policies and approaches have emerged; how open access relates to copyright; what the economics of open access are and what impact it is having on the market for scholarly journals; and how authors can participate.
Suber, a former philosophy professor who is now Director of the Harvard Open Access Project and Faculty Fellow at the Berkman Center for Internet and Society, captures key points succinctly:
ON THE PROBLEM
“The deeper problem is that we donate time, labor, and public money to create new knowledge and then hand control over the results to businesses that believe, correctly or incorrectly, that their revenue and survival depend on limiting access to that knowledge.”
“Authors who retain rights don’t violate rights belonging to publishers; they merely prevent publishers from acquiring those rights in the first place.”
“OA journals pay their bills the way broadcast television and radio stations do…. Those with an interest in disseminating the content pay the production costs upfront so that access can be free of charge for everyone with the right equipment.”
The book will be available in an open access edition in June 2013. Updates and supplements are available through the home page for the book.