Wednesday, March 16, 2005

An "Open Access", PloS-equivalent for Library Science?

Hot off the press from Library Journal: "The Public Library of Science (PloS) will more than double in size this year, with new journals scheduled to be published in June, July and September. They include PLoS Pathogens, PLoS Computational Biology, and PLoS Genetics...". Here's the LJ article.

PloS is not exactly new, but it still intrigues me. Its a useful resource -- and as free as it can be -- for medical science researchers. But if you're looking for layman articles like "Cancer cures using Traditional Chinese Medicine"... you can try but might have better luck seeking the help of the public or reference librarians.

What intrigues me is the PloS Open Access policy and its principles. Any librarian who has been to the negotiation table with database vendors will agree that we librarians pine for the day when reliable journal databases would be accessible for free. Forget about onsite-only access or concurrent licences etc. Forget about paying high subscription costs to see low usage from library members. Forget about "Subscription Vs Ownership" issues... (see related post -- If Google doesn't see it).

Now if only we had a similar Open Access, PloS-equivalent web resource for Information and Library Science articles. What's stopping us librarians from having one? Hmm...

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