I almost wrote open source here...
Anyhow: There is increasingly ongoing debate about the question whether the results of publicly funded research (which makes up a pretty chunk of research altogether) should also be freely available for the public to consult.
In 2003 a conference was held which yielded the “Berlin Declaration on Open Access to Knowledge in the Sciences and Humanities” (view here). This declaration was signed by an impressive list of research institutes and organizations.
At the start of this year a petition was launched to urge the European Commission to take steps into the direction indicated by the Berlin Declaration
Last weeks 13th of February, in a joint effort to express their views on the matter, an equally impressive list of publishers launched “The Brussels Declaration on Scientific, Technical & Medical publishing” (view here, petitioners at the bottom). Edit: It was ironically on the same day the belgian universities signed the Berlin Declaration.
Does all of this mean we’ll soon be publishing in open access journals? And that there’ll be a fee to publish rather than to read? What the outcome of the debate will be, only time will tell. But in a debate on one of the first blogs that linked to ours I found Stevan Harnad (his blog here) to have some pretty interesting views: Open access is also what we do by the button at the top of this page that says “Group Member Publications”.