Friday, August 24, 2012

Some statements from scientists and researchers noting that Open Access isn't needed by the general public

Statements such as the following really chap my hide and get my goat.  Some scientists and researches seem to think that the general public is too stupid to be able to use scientific articles and information.  GAAAHHHH!
  • Lord Robert Winston noted that “Open Access isn’t going to solve the world’s problems at all. I don’t believe it really contributes greatly to public engagement.” ( about 48 minutes in) and “Clarity, relevance and perhaps interaction are more important than open access. Society has paid for our science, so we have a duty to communicate, but electronic media may not be the best ways to engage the public.” (
  • From this Scholarly Kitchen post -- “Despite accessibility, the information remains inaccessible in any functional sense — they [the general public] can’t apply it, understand it competently, or put it into context. The information is accessible, but the person has no access to its real value.” 
  • Chemistry World article -- “The vast majority of people who need regular access to journals - primarily researchers - belong to institutions or companies with subscriptions to the journals they want to read. How much would the general public actually gain from access to complex, technically written and jargon-heavy articles?”
  • Sandy Thatcher noted in an email to me and others on a discussion list [ on January 8, 2012] that -- Laypeople/General public would not be able to benefit “from the more abstract theoretical discussions that occur in journal articles that they are very likely not going to understand anyway.”