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Journal of Neuro-Ophthalmology:
doi: 10.1097/WNO.0b013e318167cf39
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Open Access Mandate Threatens Dissemination of Scientific Information

McMullan, Erin

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Abstract

The public good is served when researchers can most easily access current, high-quality research through articles that have undergone rigorous peer review and quality control processes. The free market has allowed researchers excellent access to quality research articles through the investment of societies and commercial publishers in these processes for publication of scholarly journals in a wide variety of specialty and subspecialty areas. Government legislation mandating “open access” to copyrighted articles through a government Web site could result in a reduction of financially sustainable peer-reviewed journals and a reduction in the overall quality of articles available as publishers, societies, and authors are forced to hand over their intellectual property or restrict the peer review process because of lost sales opportunities. The public is best served when the work of researchers advances science to its benefit. If researchers have fewer current resources, diminished quality control, or access to fewer trusted peer-reviewed journals, the public could ultimately lose more than it could gain from open access legislation.

© 2008 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.

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