Tuesday, May 06, 2008

Free to read: great for business!

There are many flavors of open access; green, gold, public access, free to read, free to write. One thing that every aspect of open access has it common, is that it brings many benefits throughout our society, what the Budapest Open Access Initiative called "an unprecedented public good".

Consider how making research articles free to read for anyone with an internet connection, opens up new possibilities for the business community. The wealth of knowledge developed by our universities and researchers becomes freely available to everyone from the large corporation, to the budding entrepreneur. And why not? One of the arguments for open access is that taxpayers should have access to the results of research that they have funded. Businesses are taxpayers, too!

There are many ways in which we can all benefit from business access to research. First, of course, is the economic benefits when the commercial sector flourishes. Then, too, there are many ways that business can benefit from our collective knowledge to the advantage of all; consider, for example, how many companies would really like to be environmentally friendly. Why not help them out, and share what we know?

For more on this topic, please see my blogpost, Open Access: Good for Business!