Genes VIII and Open Access

Benjamin Lewin’s newest addition of Genes VIII, a widely used textbook on molecular genetics, has adopted a policy of only citing articles that are reasonably easy for readers to access.  Here is the policy statement from Lewin’s book:

A word is in order about the choice of references. With widespread adoption of policies that allow free access to material after a reasonable delay, the advantages to the scientific community for transparency in access have been made abundantly clear. In these circumstances, I do not regard publications in journals that neither adopt this policy nor are widely available (often because they are unreasonably expensive) as legitimate contributions to the scientific literature. I see no point in citing publications to which many readers will not have access.

Even though this policy clearly targets readers who are university students or other scientists, it also benefits members of the lay public that research matters of their own health.  Please see the post at Peter Suber’s Open Access News blog for more information.


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