Harvard Librarians Advise Open Access Publishing

Excellent. The Harvard university librarians have written a letter the Harvard faculty and staff encouraging they start publishing in journals that make content free to the public, known as open access journals, as opposed to hidden behind a pay wall. I have been watching this debate for some time as a number of the UofU CS professors have been arguing for exactly this change.

I quite like the policy at the Machine Learning Lab here in Montreal which requires us to publish our articles on Arxiv.org, a database for freely publishing and accessing of scholarly works. It’s not without it’s challenges. For instance you never know the quality of a given paper that you find on Arxiv until you have invested time in reading it. Many arguing for the open access model have been actively trying to devise strategies for such problems. Regardless I believe it’s preferable to not having access to a paper that should probably be cited.

From a grad student's perspective it is nice because I don’t have to spend time submitting special requests for access to articles and then waiting to receive them. It could end up meaning that I have to pay to have my articles published but I personally prefer this because I want my work available to others to hopefully build upon.

1 comment:

  1. It's also nice when you no longer have an academic affiliation and just want to read some papers to help with whatever problem you're working on at the moment.

    When I published the first of my paper (in Archiv der Mathematik), I had the option to make it open access for the low low price of $3,000. Sadly I didn't have the money then (or perhaps even now), but I would have loved for it to be open access (an earlier version is on Arxiv).