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Open Access

Plos Currently, the main product of the Open Access Initiative is the Public Library of Science, PLoS, which contains some scientific physics and biology journals that have explicitly been published under Creative Commons. A comprehensive list of journals and archives which are freely accessible in the broadest sense and are sometimes even available under a free licence has been compiled by the UN World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS). The Directory of Open Access Journals (DOAJ) offers a special search engine which only accepts magazines published freely according to OAI principles and subject to peer review and/or editorial supervision. Journals are able to sign up themselves.

Free images from the Public Library of Science: a tubeworm from the Gulf of Mexico. Image: Charles Fisher, in: Antje Boetius,

Biomed Central is a similar collection of OA journals, focussing on medicine and biology. Rather than being a search engine it is the first publishing house to specialise in OA journals. However, both PLoS and Biomed Central charge for publishing journals. The fee is usually paid by research institutes or universities. Springer Publishing offers a similar solution and charges US$ 3000 (!) for its Open Choice option which, according to Springer, is CC-compliant.

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