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Editorial

More Than Just Access: Delivering on a Network-Enabled Literature

  • Cameron Neylon mail

    cneylon@plos.org

    Affiliation: Advocacy Director, PLOS, Cambridge, United Kingdom

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  • Published: October 23, 2012
  • DOI: 10.1371/journal.pbio.1001417

Reader Comments (2)

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CC-BY is not equivalent to BOAI definition of OA

Posted by hgmorrison on 24 Oct 2012 at 23:45 GMT

Re your point: "This definition, which could be used to describe the Creative Commons Attribution license (CC-BY) [9]": this is not an accurate description of the CC-BY license. For one thing, none of the CC licenses are specific to free-of-charge, a major difference from open access by any definition. There is disagreement about whether open access should require CC-BY, a point which the author should acknowledge.

No competing interests declared.

RE: CC-BY is not equivalent to BOAI definition of OA

MikeTaylor replied to hgmorrison on 25 Oct 2012 at 01:24 GMT

"For one thing, none of the CC licenses are specific to free-of-charge, a major difference from open access by any definition."

What can you mean? ALL the CC licences are free of charge.

No competing interests declared.

RE: CC-BY is not equivalent to BOAI definition of OA

Velterop replied to hgmorrison on 25 Oct 2012 at 07:44 GMT

If a CC-BY licence allows you to do anything you like with an article, subject only to acknowledging the original author(s), then in what way is that not describing BOAI-compliant open access? What does "none of the CC licences are specific to free-of-charge" mean? How specific can you get? You simply cannot attach a CC-BY licence to an article that's not free-of-charge to the reader/user. Attaching a CC-BY licence is like hanging a key on a latch next to the lock, if there is a lock in the first place.

No competing interests declared.

RE: CC-BY is not equivalent to BOAI definition of OA

cameronneylon replied to hgmorrison on 25 Oct 2012 at 11:35 GMT

I wrote this a little while ago, and before the most recent round of discussions. If I wrote it today I would have worded that a little but more precisely. What I meant is that the final part of that paragraph in the BOAI that starts '...the only role for copyright...' captures the intention behind the Attribution licence.

Heather is right that technically it is possible to sell something under a CC BY licence, although I can't see what motivation anyone would have to do that for a digital online object because as Jan says, it's equivalent to hanging a key next to the lock. It can make sense to offer a physical work under such a licence but the focus here is online availability.

More generally I am making the case for the benefits of thinking about scholarly communication in a web scale networked context. In particular I am arguing for the benefits that could arise from taking a view that enabling is better than blocking. Whether we argue over the term 'open access' is an issue of semantics. How we actually gain the benefits that access offers, and how those benefits change when we think about more than just being able to read a text online, is what concerns me here.

But I stand by my basic meaning which was to say that the BOAI in its original form intended to promote free availability online, without technical or legal restrictions to use, save those required to ensure appropriate attribution. And that in 2002 that was a very far sighted view and one that if we choose we can realize today.

Competing interests declared: I am the author of the commented article and an employee of PLOS which publishes articles under a CC BY licence.