“If I have seen further it is by standing upon the shoulders of giants.” The famous statement of Sir Isaac Newton demonstrates that the progress of science relies on the dissemination of discoveries and scientific knowledge. Even though scientific progress is not strictly cumulative (Kuhn, 1970) information sharing is the heart of this progress. Nowadays, scientific knowledge is mainly spread through scholarly journals, that is, highly specialized journals where quality controls and certifications are achieved through peer-review. The first section of this chapter will present the specificity of the current economic model of scientific publications. The second section will introduce to the open access movement and to its emerging economic model. The third section will show the growing implication of governments in that movement.
Key Terms in this Chapter
Open Access Journal: Free online available scholarly journal. Some of them are purely electronic journals, others are classical ones offering a free electronic version.
Scientific Electronic Library Online: Particularly devoted to Latin America and the Caribbean countries, SciELO promotes a model for cooperative electronic publishing of scientific journals. (http://www.scielo.org)
DOAJ (Directory of Open Access Journals): is a portal listing more than 2,100 open access journals in all disciplines.
Self-archiving: Consists in the deposit of a researcher works in a repository. The researcher is generally responsible of the format of the deposit and particularly of its conformance to the archive standards.
Repository: Database where researchers self-archive their works, either preprints or postprints. The Open Archives Initiative proposes standards to allow access to different repositories.
Public Library of Science: Organization founded in October 2000 committed to make scientific literature a freely available resource. Nobel Prize recipient Harold E. Varmus is co-founder and Chairman of the Board of PLoS.
Open Archives Initiative: Initiated by the American physicist P. Grinsparg in 1999, the OAI designed metadata tagging standards,.
OAI-PMH: “Open Archives Initiative Protocol for Metadata Harvesting” provides a standard framework for metadata harvesting.
Preprint: Scientific work before peer-review.
Postprint: Scientific work modified after peer-review.