Open Access News from the RSP team
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Let’s hide our research from unworthy people | Open Science

"The Guardian recently published an article by Professor Robin Osborne under the controversial title “Why open access makes no sense”. The author sets out to prove that there is no such thing as free access to academic research, and having caused quite a stir, I think it is worth commenting.

Let’s start with a presentation of the main thesis proposed by Robin Osborne, according to which open access makes no sense. In essence, the fact that research is funded by the tax-payer does not mean that it becomes the property of the tax-payer, because research is not a product but the process.

I will not quote his full statement, which takes up almost the whole of the professor’s article. However, it is worth quoting two passages that explain the rational of his arguments"

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Why open access makes no sense

Why open access makes no sense | Open Access News from the RSP team | Scoop.it

"The fundamental argument for providing open access to academic research is that research that is funded by the tax-payer should be available to the tax-payer. Those who have paid for the research, it is urged, should not have to pay a second time for access to the publication of that research. Proponents of what has come to be called 'open access' claim that this is simply obvious, but in fact this argument mistakes the fundamental nature of academic research, it mistakes nature and process of academic publication, and it mistakes what is involved in providing access to academic research. I shall limit my claims here to research in the Humanities, but very similar arguments apply to research in the sciences also."

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Why Robin Osborne makes no sense

Why Robin Osborne makes no sense | Open Access News from the RSP team | Scoop.it

"Robin Osborne, professor of ancient history at King’s College, Cambridge, had an article in the Guardian yesterday entitled “Why open access makes no sense“. It was described by Peter Coles as “a spectacularly insular and arrogant argument”, by Peter Webster as an “Amazingly wrong-headed piece” and  by Glyn Moody as “easily the most arrogant & dim-witted article I’ve ever read on OA”.

Here’s my response (posted as a comment on the original article):

At a time when the world as a whole is waking up to the open-access imperative, it breaks my heart to read this fusty, elitist, reactionary piece, in which Professor Osborne ends up arguing strongly for his own irrelevance. What a tragic lack of vision, and of ambition."

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