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Old 01-03-2019, 11:21 PM   #1
GtrsRGr8
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Be On the Lookout for More Open Access Books.

This is a newsy item, too, and I plan to post this or a modified version in the forum with "news" items (pending my checking the MobileRead rules to see if that kind of cross-posting is allowed).

Many of you may be aware of my love for OA (Open Access) books--OA now almost universally, if not universally, means free.

I failed to see this earlier, but since September 2018 there has been an initiative in Europe, called Plan S, to "mandate immediate open access (OA) to scientific literature." Sixteen funders in 13 countries have signed on, at last count.

Backers of this program have greater ambitions: "to convince the world's major research funders to require immediate OA to all published papers stemming from their grants." (Science magazine, Jan. 4, 2019, emphases mine, G (and, yes, the date is correct)).

If the works are produced under a grant, especially a government grant, I think that it is only fair that recipients of those grants make some kind of return. That's all that I think that I should say, lest I make a foray into politics--no doubt governments of countries award many of the grants.

I hope that "scientific" is broad enough to include "soft" sciences, such as humanities, social science, etc. But I can foresee, if this program is successful, the mandate slowly widening its scope to more and more subject matters.

Residents of the United States will, no doubt, benefit from this mandate; however, we may be one of the least likely to. Since the 16 funders are likely all European, few, if any of the OA works may be in English (I don't know if Great Britain, with the English-speaking countries of England, Scotland, Ireland, and ?, has signed on; I can't think of any other European countries with English as its official language or even as one of the official languages in a bilingual country).

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Old 01-05-2019, 05:34 PM   #2
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You'll find that the vast majority of scientific publications are written in English so, yes, you'll benefit from this in the US.

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Old 01-05-2019, 11:15 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by ballfresno View Post
You'll find that the vast majority of scientific publications are written in English so, yes, you'll benefit from this in the US.

eric
That's good to know, being an English-speaker.

A lot of the works that I read and refer to, in my special field of interest (a "soft" science), are in German or French. I sometimes can muddle through (although I wouldn't want to have to do it very much!) French. I am hopeless when it comes to German--I just have to forgo reading works written in that language.

But that appears to have changed a lot in, say, the last 75 years over the world. English, now, is firmly ensconced as the unofficial second language of an enormous percentage of the world at large (I say that because the governments of some countries actively discourage it), and possibly is now the default language of the literature, in the world at large, that I need to read. Where French was the lingua franca of the world at one time; English--despite its plethora of irregular verbs, inconsistent spellings, etc.--is now the language that holds that title.

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