The Free Online Scholarship Movement: An Interview with Peter Suber Stevan Harnad 03 Sep 2002 02:39 UTC

Congratulations on this splendid and informative interview of Peter
Suber in Michigan Virtual University's "The Technology Source."

> <>The Free Online
> Scholarship Movement: An Interview with Peter Suber

The interview contains only one very minor but rather important error:

> ...Physicists are way ahead of everyone else. There is free online access
> to nearly 100% of physics papers today, at least as preprints...

It is true that physicists are way ahead of everyone else, that they
were the first to self-archive, that self-archiving in physics has been
growing steadily for over a decade, and that in some SUB-fields of physics
(e.g. high energy physics), free access is virtually 100%.

Unfortunately, however, self-archiving in physics as a whole is not yet
near 100%, and will not be for nearly another decade at its present
linear growth rate, which has been rock-steady for over a decade now:

It is precisely for this reason that many in the open-access
movement have put their energy and efforts behind distributed
institution-based self-archiving rather than waiting for centralized,
discipline-based self-archiving to accelerate and generalize to the rest
of the disciplines.

The discipline does not look like the right entity to join the author
in universalizing self-archiving at long last: The right entity, the
one sharing the same interests in and benefits from maximizing its
researchers' impact is the researcher's institution. See:

    Harnad, S. (2001) "Research access, impact and
    assessment." Times Higher Education Supplement 1487:
    p. 16.

Stevan Harnad

NOTE: A complete archive of the ongoing discussion of providing open
access to the peer-reviewed research literature online is available at
the American Scientist September Forum (98 & 99 & 00 & 01 & 02):

Discussion can be posted to:

See also the Budapest Open Access Initiative:

and the Free Online Scholarship Movement: