Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Is Nature going Open Access?

Nature and EMBO are together publishing "Molecular Systems Biology" and all basic research in this journal is Open Access. I am wondering why this has not gotten more press as it seems Nature is experimetning with OA models here. Nature has done some experimentation previously by making certian types of papers available freely (e.g., many genomics papers). But this is definitely one step beyond and they deserve massive kudos for it.

So if you are looking for a new OA journal to submit some systems biology related papers, you should try here. And maybe with a little effort, we can convince Nature it is worth doing for more of their journals.

7 comments:

  1. I think because Nature did not yet realize that it would be good press for them to openly state it as an experiment into the open access model. Apart from the web publishing group (Timo Hannay's group) things at Nature seem to move a bit slow.

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  2. I am sure you/I would like them to move faster. But this is a good start. Better than many other publishers.

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  3. And to think the most absurd idea in your April Fools article was the proposed PLoN...

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  4. This is also way more 'open' than many conventional publishers 'open' options as they are publishing under a Creative Commons licence:

    "This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited. This license does not permit commercial exploitation or the creation of derivative works without specific permission."

    Strictly speaking that is the Attribution Non-commerciual licence. This is almost (though not quite) the most useful/least restrictive of the CC licence. PLoS's licence (the full Attribution licence) says:

    "This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited."

    Hopefully that distinction will never become important.

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  5. It seems somewhat unnecessary for them to have used that particular CC license instead of the more open one, but I am sure they have their reasons. Hey, they are much closer than most other places ...

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  6. At the risk of being overly obsessed by this I checked over at Creative Commons and the MSB licence is actually the "Attribution Non-commercial No Derivatives" licence which CC describe as

    "the most restrictive of our six main licenses, allowing redistribution. This license is often called the "free advertising" license because it allows others to download your works and share them with others as long as they mention you and link back to you, but they can't change them in any way or use them commercially."

    So only slightly better than 'free-to-read' and not available for repurposing such as translation to other languages, including parts in educational material, reusing figures from the papers, etc, unless you ask permission or place your faith in a 'fair use' defense.

    'Free Advertising' isn't 'Open Access' in my book.

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  7. aargh ... oh well, it was only a dream

    and in reference to J. Badger's post above ... I have no idea what you are referring to when you say "my" April Fools article. I just posted it. I would never have written anything so scandalous.

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