E-access to science


NATURE REVIEWS | GENETICS VOLUME 2 | MAY 2001 | 331 E-access to science If there is one debate that has dominated labs, libraries and scientific publishers lately, it is that surrounding the call for unrestricted access to primary scientific research publications, which, according to its proponents, should be housed in a centralized online database. The initiative, known as the ‘The Public Library of Science’ (PLS) has attracted a wide range of opinions and has stimulated heated discussion over ownership of research results, and on the practical and ethical consequences of storing scientific data in a single repository. More generally, this initiative fits into the larger question of the impact of electronic publishing on science. Does the future of science publishing belong online? If so, how will the transition from print to Web publishing occur? What kind of socioeconomic and technical questions should be addressed? Who will ensure quality controls on scientific information? Nature has now brought this debate online. From the 6 April 2001, scientists can become better acquainted with the issues of this debate through articles written by publishers, librarians and technology developers. Access is free, and the Web debate can be reached directly or from the Nature home page. The featured articles cover a selection of viewpoints, from those who believe that scientific information belongs to those who generate it, to those who fear that the PLS project would harm science. Visitors to the Web forum can also express their own opinions and reactions to this debate by sending their views to be posted on this site. As the curators point out, this debate will not resolve all the controversies, but it might help publishers and scientists to identify how to handle and disseminate scientific information in the most effective manner. Tanita Casci WEB WATCH

DOI: 10.1038/35072061

Cite this paper

@article{Casci2001EaccessTS, title={E-access to science}, author={Tanita Casci}, journal={Nature Reviews Genetics}, year={2001}, volume={2}, pages={331-331} }