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access to the literature: the debate continues
The Internet is profoundly changing how scientists work and publish. New business models are being tested by publishers, including open access, in which the author pays and content is free to the user. This ongoing web focus will explore current trends and future possibilities. Each week, the website will publish specially commissioned insights and analysis from leading scientists, librarians, publishers and other stakeholders, as well as key links, and articles from our archive. All content is available free.

13th September 2004: With today's contributions, this Nature focus now closes. Its topic, the future of access to the scientific literature, will no doubt continue to be the subject of lively debate among librarians, publishers, learned societies, and scientists. I hope that the contents of this focus will usefully and constructively contribute to this debate.

Declan Butler
European correspondent, Nature
Comments may be addressed to

Follow the debate with the RSS feed.
What is RSS?

The forum

Declan Butler
19 March 2004

Experiments in publishing
Opinion, Nature, 431, 111 (09 September 2004)

The pros and cons of
Open Access

Kate Worlock
13 September 2004

The orthodoxy of Open

John Ewing
13 September 2004

Journal publishing:
what do authors want?

Ian Rowlands, Dave Nicholas and
Paul Huntingdon
13 September 2004

What do societies do with their publishing surpluses?
Christine Baldwin and Sally Morris
13 September 2004

Electronic publishing models and the public good
Bernard Rous
13 September 2004

Britain decides 'open access' is still an open issue
Declan Butler
From Nature 22 July 2004


Societies take united stand on journal access
Nature 428, 356 (25 March 2004)

Scientific publishing: Who will pay for open access?
Declan Butler
Nature 425, 554 - 555 (9 Oct 2003)

Revolution or evolution?
A shift to an open-access model of publishing would clearly benefit science, but who should pay?
Susan R. Owens
EMBO reports 4, 742 - 743 (1 Aug 2003)

Ethical profits from publishing
Frank Gannon
EMBO reports 5, 1 (1 Jan 2004)


The evidence

What can research agencies, publishers and government do to promote access to the scientific literature, and who should pay? Here, we present links to position papers on the question from academic and other institutions.

Oxford University Press

Association of Learned and Professional Society Publishers

BioMed Central


Public Library of Science


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