The Open Access Movement Grows Up: Taking Stock of a Revolution


Heather Joseph, Executive Director of SPARC, has a very readable article published this week in PLOS Biology.

She summarizes the challenges, the progress and the enablers that have contributed to the OA movement, including this aspiration:

The need for the free, immediate availability on the open Internet of articles reporting research results, coupled with the rights to fully use these articles in the digital environment, has become the widely established, fully accepted goal of the global OA movement.

Because of this strong foundation, it is now a widely held belief that until its results are communicated as broadly as possible, a piece of research is only half completed. This clear vision has helped to set the stage for the kind of consistent—and measurable—progress we’ve seen over the past decade towards making OA a reality.


The article is short, direct and an excellent summary of the current state of the OA movement. Near the end of the article — I found this statement thought-provoking:

Perhaps the single biggest development that has the potential to accelerate behavior change and grow the community is the development of Article-Level Metrics. The emergence of a novel set of measures that can be applied in a transparent manner to individual articles to accurately assess their importance—and impact—has strong appeal to authors and research evaluators alike.