Open access to scientific research articles will “happen in the long run”, according to the editor-in-chief of Nature, one of the world’s premier scientific journals.
Philip Campbell said that the experience for readers and researchers of having research freely available is “very compelling”. But other academic publishers said that any large-scale transition to making research freely available had to take into account the value and investments they added to the scientific process.
“My personal belief is that that’s what’s going to happen in the long run,” said Campbell. However, he added that the case for open access was stronger for some disciplines, such as climate research, than others.
You hear it said that the public has paid for it, the public should have access to it for free,” said Campbell. “At that point, I draw back and say, what do you mean by ‘it’? You mean something that has got quality in it, that has been selected and copy-edited. Somebody has got to do all that stuff, so the ‘it’ you want usually has involved somebody acting like a publisher to make it useable and comprehensible.”
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