Free and open access to the progress of scientific thought is vital for the advancement of many disciplines. But it is particularly necessary for conservation science, not only because resources are limited in many of the countries with the most complex and urgent problems, but also because effective solutions must draw from a wide range of disciplines.
In this article, Gustavo Fonseca and Philippa J. Benson describe a number of initiatives to share scientific information being undertaken by the Center for Applied Biodiversity Science at Conservation International.
The authors argue that precious conservation dollars can be saved or put to more effective use by avoiding duplication of efforts through wide and free dissemination of efforts. They say that such goals should no longer be allowed to fall hostage to the constraints imposed by the profit-driven publishing marketplace or old-fashioned practices of handling scientific data.