More than 40% of scientific-peer reviewed articles published worldwide between 2004 and 2011 are now available online in open access form.
- That all data wants to be free. Impassioned advocates argue that when knowledge is limited by, and to, a specific group of individuals only, a disservice is done worldwide. At the moment, many of the best-regarded reseah journals are available only to those with the appropriate institutional passwords. Access to academic databases is extremely expensive, so these library accounts are precious: no login, no password, no service. Interested in reading about the latest physics research, but can't afford to go to a top school? Currently unaffiliated with any academic institution? Well, prepare to pay a hefty sum per article while elite academics access tens of thousand of these for free every day. It adds up.
- That all research funded by taxpayers should be made available to those investing in the research. How so? Well, if researchers publish in Open Access (fee-free) journals, or if copies of related articles are deposited in public repositories designed or adapted for this purpose, then any taxpayer/citizen can gain access to the research they've essentially paid for. In the US, legislation mandating public access to research has been proposed, and around the world similar initiatives have gained traction (note: some US agencies support this practice already, and/or are implementing it in stages).