Should all scientific, technical and medical (STM) literature be available to anyone on the Internet without subscription or payment?

That simple question is at the center of the open access debate regarding STM journals. However, the eventual answer could have ramifications that go far beyond a monetary cost to the reader, ranging from the quality of literature to how much authors must pay to publish.

In this month's Pediatrics, the journal's senior managing editor,Michael Clarke, has a commentary titled “Open Sesame? Increasing Access to Medical Literature” (

Pediatrics
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2004
;
114
:
265
-268
) which warns against the open access movement's push for journals to switch to an“author-pays” business model and discusses why the Academy is taking the middle ground in the debate.

“It's probably the clearest, most succinct statement of the problem I've read,” said Jerold Lucey, M.D., FAAP, editor of Pediatrics. “It's exceedingly important because...

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