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The Access Principle: The Case for Open Access to Research and Scholarship
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The Access Principle: The Case for Open Access to Research and Scholarship

3.37  ·  Rating details ·  67 ratings  ·  12 reviews
An argument for extending the circulation of knowledge with new publishing technologies considers scholarly, economic, philosophical, and practical issues. Questions about access to scholarship go back farther than recent debates over subscription prices, rights, and electronic archives suggest. The great libraries of the past - from the fabled collection at Alexandria to ...more
Hardcover, 287 pages
Published October 7th 2005 by MIT Press (MA) (first published October 1st 2005)
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Kat Saunders
Feb 02, 2017 rated it did not like it
A thorough--if not somewhat repetitive--introduction to the advantages of open access.
Aug 30, 2020 rated it it was ok
Shelves: lis
I read this (now fairly dated) book on open access to get a better understanding of the state of information science 15 years ago, before I entered the profession. Many of the ideas, decisions and models from that time have a huge impact on how Open Access, and many related issues, are viewed and addressed (or not addressed) today. This book is quite through in providing that background, and in that respect, was useful. However, about halfway through Willinsky shifted from arguing the benefits o ...more
Nov 11, 2009 rated it liked it
Recommends it for: librarians, information students, scholars
Recommended to Michael by: Jonathan Strang
This book covers the principle and concept of open access scholarship from a supportive and positive standpoint. Willinsky is very clear from his introduction that he intends to promote open access as preferable to traditional "toll-gated" models of scholarly publishing. This being the case, the book is necessarily polemical, but nonetheless useful. As with many digital-age topics, this is a very dynamic issue, and in fact the book at times seems dated, although it is only five years old (most o ...more
Jan 06, 2009 rated it liked it
Shelves: academic
My primary complaint is that it seems shallow - Willinsky is trying to cover so much ground that he doesn't cover any of it in depth. Some of this superficiality includes not referencing research in related areas, and instead implying that this research hasn't been done (i.e. new media studies, online reading practices, online technical writing).

And he treats the issue of open access in a way that implies that everyone will have access to the material items necessary to access scholarly work if
Eric Phetteplace
Jul 26, 2010 rated it really liked it
Shelves: lis-web
A solid introduction to open access and related issues in scholarly publishing. Willinsky paints with broad strokes, which is both the best and worst part of this book: he touches on just about every conceivable advantage of open access, but many of the chapters are overly idealistic and not grounded in any substantive empirical evidence. There are plenty of positive ideas, but little pragmatic advice. The final chapter on "History" is almost entirely irrelevant, just anecdotes about "Philosophi ...more
Sep 25, 2008 rated it liked it
This is probably deserving of a closer reading than I gave it. The only chapter I read in its entirety was the final chapter, an abbreviated history of scholarly writing. But I like Willinsky's ideas. And most of the book is freely available on the Internet; what isn't is ILL-able from Penn State's libraries. :) ...more
Feb 14, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Brilliant, important book. There's no reason why most scholarly research should be available to everyone, for free. I hope to discuss his ideas at an upcoming yale conference on the future of the library on 4/4/09. ...more
May 23, 2008 rated it really liked it
According to Willinsky, the right to know is a basic human right; without it, informed discourse is impossible. Open access to knowledge is essential to fostering democratic participation and creating a climate of government accountability.
Dec 21, 2007 rated it liked it
Recommends it for: open access
Shelves: literacy
Information about the workings of the human body being available as a human rights issue is a valid question. Willinsky explores this idea as an abstract concept. Okay bibliography.
Alan Fricker
Dec 14, 2012 rated it it was ok
Shelves: library, work
Did not make much of an impact on me at the time
Mar 07, 2010 rated it it was ok
This is a good basic introduction to open access. However, I was already familiar with many of the principles and found the writing style to be kind of dry.
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