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Tuesday, October 14th marked the world’s first Open Access Day. The open access movement has revolutionized the way that scientific research results are shared; anyone with the Internet can view scientific journal articles at no cost through open access journals like Public Library of Science (PLoS).


As part of the inaugural Open Access Day, PLoS teamed up with the Scholarly Publishing & Academic Resource Coalition (SPARC) and Students for Free Culture to sponsor a blogging competition. The contest asked bloggers to respond to four questions, including “Why does open access matter to you?” and “Why should scientific and medical research be an open-access resource for the world?”

So many great entries were submitted that two winners were ultimately chosen, both of whom will receive a “bag of swag” as a prize. One of the winners was ScienceBlogs’ own Greg Laden, for his open access poem. The poem eloquently paints open access as an improvement over older methods of publishing:

the new Open Access

to everyone’s work

can be the new praxis

and everyone’s perk”

“with the previous method
the work was all gratis
publishers prod
to maintain their status

A second prize went to blogger Dorothea Salo, for her entry “My Father the Anthropologist; or, What I Offer Open Access and Why.”

A hearty congratulations to both contest winners, and a happy Open Access Day!