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I’m writing to correct an error in Mark Y. Herring’s piece, “Can Open Access Save Us?” from the Dec. 2010-Jan. 2011 issue. Herring makes the point in passing that “by definition, open-access archives and/or journals do not provide scholarly vetting (peer review)….”
This is not at all what open access is, by definition or in practice. Herring quotes Peter Suber, but he should have dug deeper. As Suber writes, “OA is compatible with peer review, and all the major OA initiatives for scientific and scholarly literature insist on its importance.” There are now hundreds (thousands?) of peer-reviewed OA journals. As one example, librarian and scholar Heather Morrison found that PLoS One, an OA journal from the Public Library of Science, published more peer-reviewed articles than any other scholarly journal in 2010.
Katharine Dunn (Projects Librarian, MIT Libraries)