SPARC Open Access Newsletter, issue #148
In the August issue of the SOAN, Peter Suber contemplates "Discovery, Rediscovery, and Open Access"
"In 1979, William Garvey made a remarkable claim: " ... in some disciplines, it is easier to repeat an experiment than it is to determine that the experiment has already been done." (See W.D. Garvey, Communication: The essence of science, Pergamon Press, Oxford 1979, p. 8.)
Garvey was talking about research in the era of print, and we'd like to think that digital technologies have changed the picture. But Garvey's thesis is not false today. It's just true less often than it was in 1979.
Of course digitizing research makes it easier to find. But when finding it is still hard (because search tools are weak or access barriers block crawlers) or when retrieval is hard (because the work is toll-access or TA) or when the original experiment is particularly easy to repeat, then repeating the experiment can still be the path of least resistance. "
Read the rest of the newsletter here.