The Open Access Schism: Recapitulating Open Source?

Glyn Moody | ComputerWorld UK | September 4, 2014

As well as in free software itself, this column is interested in the ways that the ideas underlying open source are spreading far and wide. One of the earliest manifestations was in the field of academic publishing, where open access has been gaining ground steadily. It seems that the open access world has just entered the schism phase that mirrors the similar split between those espousing "free software", and those who resolutely call it "open source."

This most recent development is captured in yet another brilliant contribution from the unofficial chronicler of the open access world, Richard Poynder. His blog, called "Open and Shut?", is simply the best resource there is to find out about open access, its issues and key individuals. You could spend many days reading through the resources there, and it would be time well spent.

His latest post [.pdf] is nominally another interview, of which there are many on the site, this time with Paul Royster, Coordinator of Scholarly Communications at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. It's well worth reading, but here I'd like to concentrate on the 11-page introduction that Poynder provides. In it, he explores the key issues raised by Royster concerning that old favourite of open movements everywhere: licences, and which ones are "best"...