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The economic issues around open access


The future; information Nirvana
Eugene Garfield Scientist
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We talked about information Nirvana when, you know, I suppose, everything that’s ever been published, if not everything ever written, will be available electronically, if they get around to it, scanning everything. And then, who knows? But it certainly would seem that the size of the memories, and the cost of the memories, is so incredibly cheap. It’s still going, there’s Mooers' Law, it’s still operating under the Mooers of Intel. There’s not a lot from Calvin Mooers, but I think that probably it’ll happen in the next 20 years, that you’ll be able to have the entire library of Congress at your fingertips. Truly, you know. What you do with it at that point, I don’t know. But I know that I still, you know, am balking at the, I don’t have a, a iPhone, or Blackberry, or whatever it is, and when I’m in my car, I don’t have access to the internet, because I’m too cheap to pay for the, the, they want to charge you what, $40 a month, just to access the internet in your car? You should be able to, right? Because there’s a lot of things that come up and I want to answer a question sometimes, like whether it’s, during a conversation, or during a crossword puzzle, or whatever it is, you get something that comes up, and you say, for God’s sake, why can’t I get access to it without all the difficulty? Some people do it, if you pay for it. If you pay enough, you can get it.

Eugene Garfield (1925-2017) was an American scientist and publisher. In 1960 Garfield set up the Institute for Scientific Information which produced, among many other things, the Science Citation Index and fulfilled his dream of a multidisciplinary citation index. The impact of this is incalculable: without Garfield’s pioneering work, the field of scientometrics would have a very different landscape, and the study of scholarly communication would be considerably poorer.

Listeners: Henry Small

Henry Small is currently serving part-time as a research scientist at Thomson Reuters. He was formerly the director of research services and chief scientist. He received a joint PhD in chemistry and the history of science from the University of Wisconsin. He began his career as a historian of science at the American Institute of Physics' Center for History and Philosophy of Physics where he served as interim director until joining ISI (now Thomson Reuters) in 1972. He has published over 100 papers and book chapters on topics in citation analysis and the mapping of science. Dr Small is a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, an Honorary Fellow of the National Federation of Abstracting and Information Services, and past president of the International Society for Scientometrics and Infometrics. His current research interests include the use of co-citation contexts to understand the nature of inter-disciplinary versus intra-disciplinary science as revealed by science mapping.

Duration: 1 minute, 47 seconds

Date story recorded: September 2007

Date story went live: 23 June 2009