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Creating an Intellectual Commons through Open Access

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Type: Working Paper
Author: Suber, Peter
Date: 2004
URI: https://hdl.handle.net/10535/4445
Sector: Information & Knowledge
Subject(s): communication
open access
tragedy of the commons
information commons
information technology
Abstract: "Open-access (OA) literature is online, free of charge, and free of most copyright and licensing restrictions. The low-hanging fruit for OA is literature that authors consent to distribute without payment, or for which they are paid salaries by their employers rather than royalties by their publishers. This relatively small but very important category of literature includes peer-reviewed journal articles and their preprints, the primary literature of science. In this paper I discuss the peculiarities of royalty-free literature, the conditions that lead authors to consent to OA (including authors of royalty-producing literature), and some obstacles to an OA commons that have the flavor of a tragedy of the commons."

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