Open Access In Science [Imperial College-London]

Henry Rzepa | Imperial College | October 3, 2012

With Open Access Week 2012 taking place from 22–28 October, Henry Rzepa, Professor of Computational Chemistry, discusses the importance of open access journals in science.

“Science journals have been with us a long time – one I’ve seen dates back to 1665 – and for most of that period they have served the community exceedingly well. But after almost 20 years of the internet, we are entitled to ask: is this 350-year-old model still fit for purpose? Is the (closed) subscription journal – almost 10,000 are related to chemistry alone – serving us well? Indeed, can any individual scientist hope to spot the critical developments by simply scanning the tables of contents of a small number of journals relevant to their field and thus risk failing to spot pertinent events beyond that horizon? An alternative twenty-first century model sees the scientific article as part of a semantic web of interlinked data, information and knowledge. Clever querying or mining of this web – by machines working 24/7, if need be – is the future.