Statement about embargo periods

Kathleen Shearer, Educational Technology, May 14, 2014
Commentary by Stephen Downes

For a while, supporters of open access have accepted embargo periods as a necessary evil to promote the transition from closed source to open access publications. Embargo periods delay the publication of open versions of paid articles for a period of time. Now they are seeing the cost of that compromise. "Embargo periods dilute the benefits of open access policies and we believe that, if they are adopted, they should be no more than 6 months for the life and physical sciences, 12 months for social sciences and humanities." The coalition of open access repositories that signed the document argues that embargo periods should eventually be eliminated. One wonders about the wisdom of building this compromise into open access policies in the first place.

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