Open access is broken: what can be done?

  • Brian Rosenblum
  • A. Town Peterson
  • Ada Emmett
  • Marc L. Greenberg
  • Josh Bolick


The idea of “Open Access” (hereafter OA) emerged in the late 1990’s and early 2000’s with a noble goal: to provide comprehensive access to the scholarly literature for everyone around the world by making the results of scholarly research freely and immediately available online to all. After more than 20 years of OA advocacy and development, where do things stand? Has the noble goal of universal access been realized, and is the scholarly literature now accessible and open to the global community of scholars? How strong is the current OA movement and where is it headed? While significant advances have been made, to be sure, the fact is that elements of OA have taken a wrong turn somewhere, resulting in a system that is broken and has not lived up to its promise. Early OA efforts focused on the need for better access to read and reuse scholarly literature. While significant advancement has been made in this area, it has created another barrier to the free and open sharing of scholarly research–access for authors to publish their research. This is especially problematic for those without the means or support to participate in the “pay to publish” model of OA that has become dominant. There is still hope to correct this imbalance, but the scholarly community must refocus and recalibrate its efforts to get back on track.


Journal Identifiers

eISSN: 0855-3033