Sijbolt J. Noorda
European Universities and Open Access

Open access is not the hobbyhorse of a few revolutionaries or a scheme to make life miserable for publishers. Like the invention of public libraries in the old days, it is a matter of public service and the dissemination of knowledge.

The digital age brings new arrangements of control and ownership, of selling and buying, and of dissemination and access. Open access to scholarly publications is and should be part of those arrangements. That would be a great service both to the scholarly community and the public at large, well worth the joint efforts of publishers and universities. We need new business models and a new spirit of cooperation.

Open access is not the only important issue in digitization. More generally speaking, in academia the digital age has not reached its full potential yet. Thus far research has profited more than teaching and learning. Worlds can be won. Also in international cooperation the digital mode could mean much more than it does. European universities ought to be leading the way.

Bielefeld University Library - last update: 07/01/2009