Open Access

David Parry bio photo By David Parry

In my spare time (yeah right what spare time, honestly as a means to procrastinate) I have been reading John Willinsky’s The Access Principle which you can get for free from MIT press. Willinsky argues for both the ethical and practical reasons we should move to open access journals. The key part for me is that Willinsky not only covers the issue well, but that he has been involved in the pragmatics of such a project. Working out of Simon Fraser University, Willinsky and others have developed an open software platform for publishing journals. With the Open Access movement gaining momentum in the last year Willinsky’s book is worth checking out, as well as the Public Knowledge Project. There are already several distinguished journals that are using this approach, many based on the software developed by the Public Knowledge Project. After reading the MLA report about the publishing crisis and the effect on junior faculty this seems like a step in the right direction. (You can also see Berube’s article about this at Inside Higher Ed.) (Not surprisingly humanities disciplines have been slower to embrace these technological opportunities.)