Thursday, October 28, 2010
This article discusses the move made by a dozen major American universities towards making academic research material available online free of charge. These universities, which include Duke, Harvard, Cornell, MIT, University of Michigan, and University of California Berkley, among others, have signed the Compact for Open Access Publishing Equity (COPE), which means that rather than paying $10,000-$20,000 in subscriptions each year, the universities will cover the costs of publishing the articles themselves (about $1,000- $3,000) and will be able to access the other open-access articles. This movement, which is essentially "increased open access, means more opportunities for the research of our faculty and researchers to reach a wide audience and have a meaningful impact on the world,” says Peter Lange, Duke's provost. I think that this movement encompasses everything that is right about today's movement towards technology. Technology should be enabling and encouraging the sharing of knowledge between scholars and learners alike. The increased availability of professors' research will no doubt enrich the education of students and lead to more progress for other professors, as it should.