Monday, December 11, 2006

Peter Suber: heart of the open access movement

Of all the organs, the heart is the most vital; it is the most central in function, the one on which we all depend.

The legendarily hard-working Peter Suber manages, amazingly, to keep so up to speed on open access happenings around the world that his Open Access News blog is the authoritative source for OA news - and perspectives.

Many of us are very aware of how fast Peter is at reporting the news. If you haven't been following as closely, let me express it this way: many people think I'm pretty good at keeping up - but, I often find out what is happening in my own country by reading Peter's blog. He is so fast, I'm just waiting for the day when he reports one of my posts on OA Librarian or The Imaginary Journal of Poetic Economics - before I write it! (If this happened, I'd be surprised - but, only a little).

The heart, of course, is more than an organ; it is a symbol - of love, and of kindness. How appropriate a symbol, for a diplomat in an arena long known for heated debate, although lately it appears that tempers are beginning to cool and reason will likely prevail.

How appropriate too, for this fine writer who, among other things, drafted the Budapest Open Access Initiative with such beautiful phrases as an old tradition and a new technology have converged to make possible an unprecedented public good.

Peter's qualifications as an honorary librarian go back to his days as a professor at Earlham College, where his Library Reports Assignment is a librarian's dream - an assignment "simply to use the library throughout the semester to help you understand and assess the reading"; one rationale of the assignment "simply to become comfortable using the library". Open Access News so frequently covers open access leadership and initiatives by librarians, it is a better source for this news than OA Librarian (although OA Librarian is more focused, and a pathfinder as well as a newsblog - so stay with us!).

There is so much happening in open access, it's impossible for anyone to completely keep up, although Peter is still the best.

Peter - thank you so much for all that you do; your speed of reporting speeds up open access action, in my opinion, and your sage comments help keep us all on track; so, keep on keeping up - or hurry up, if you can...

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1 comment:

Dorothea said...

Well said.