Melissa Hagemann, my guest today on Open Views, is the program manager for the Information Program at the OSI. Melissa was profiled as a Scholarly Publishing and Academic Resources Coalition (SPARC) Innovator in December 2006 for her work promoting and facilitating Open Access.
Melissa could well be given the credit for the sucess of the Open Access movement. Considering the initiative is just over 5 years old, it's impressive that organizations as large as the National Institutes of Health
have mandated are considering instituting that all the reseach they fund be released under an Open Access model and deposited into PubMed Central, the online digital library maintained by the NIH. Essentially this makes all NIH funded peer-reviewed articles completely freely available to anyone who wants it.
Melissa Hagemann is credited with being the strategist and visionary who brought all the disparate pieces of the scientific world into what is now a quite successful Open Access movement. With any global organization, particularly one taking on a well-established multi-billion-dollar publishing industry, there are issues to be resolved, and personalities to be juggled. Melissa's abilities to create the social network of scientists and researchers, and have them collaborate towards making their work available for no cost, online, to a global audience, is truly amazing considering the enormity of the task.
[CORRECTION: The NIH has not yet mandated Open Access. The NIH currently "requests" that researchers make a copy of their articles available after six months. This voluntary implementation, however, has only had a 4% compliancy rate. The Cornyn/Lieberman bill (which should be introduced this spring) would mandate OA after six months for the 10 largest US funding agencies including NIH). The bill is set to be introduced this spring. The bill has both proponents and opponents. The latter are primarily from the publishing world, and the major claims appear to be based on loss of revenue. However, it
should be remembered that what's being requested is that all Tax-Payer funded research be put into OA repositories. So the works have largely been paid for already. Plus the 6-month leeway allows the profit-motive to work as well!]