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The launch of PLoS Biology, an open access biology journal, last month, has heightened debate on initiatives to boost free access to scientific literature for all.

But in this article, Brian Crawford argues that little proof exists to warrant overturning the current publishing system — a system that has been refined over many decades and works to the mutual benefit of various stakeholders.

He says that the model put forward by PLoS Biology, in which authors pay a fee for having their research published, is not viable in the long term. But he praises other initiatives, such as the Health InterNetwork Access to Research Initiative (HINARI), which allows institutions in some developing countries to access selected scientific journals for free.

 Link to full article in The Lancet*
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