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August 25, 2005

PNAS, Open Access, and Levels of Interest - Commentary by George Porter

.: George Porter, contributor to STLQ and Librarian at Sherman Fairchild Library, CalTech, offers a thoughtful analysis on open access and the impact on readership, using PNAS as a test case. - Randy.


There has been a great deal of speculation about the willingness of authors to pay fees to provide greater access to their articles. Contributors to the discussion on all sides of the Open Access (OA) debate (and there are certainly more than two schools of thought on the subject) have been able to find numbers to support their theses. However, it has proven exceedingly difficult to find a virtually unassailable test case from which all interested parties could concede that valid lessons might be drawn.

An opportunity presents itself with the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America (PNAS) is a respected, established scientific journal.

PNAS is a signatory of the DC Principles and has chosen a 6 month window of exclusivity for subscribers. In addition, PNAS instituted a Walker/Prosser model of OA by the article in late 2004. Under this model, authors may pay an additional fee to provide immediate global access to their published article.

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