11 November 2008

Open Access and Franz Kafka - Berlin 6

'Allo from the Northern Rhineland. I'm currently sitting at the Berlin 6 Open Access Conference - Changing Scholarly Communication in the Knowledge Society in Dusseldorf, Germany.

In the organizers' opening remarks, one gentleman from Heinrich-Heine referred to a children's fable from Franz Kafka (specifically from "A Little Fable", not trying to sound redundant). The story is a familiar one:

'Alas,' said the mouse, 'the whole world is growing smaller every day. At the beginning it was so big that I was afraid, I kept running and running, and I was glad when I saw walls far away to the right and left, but these long walls have narrowed so quickly that I am in the last chamber already, and there in the corner stands the trap that I must run into.'

'You only need to change your direction,' said the cat, and ate it up."

That's open access, the organizer said, trap or cat.

The internet allows for global and interactive representation of knowledge, preserving cultural heritage and allowing for worldwide access. Openness being the new base or new foundation for global scientific exchange.

And with that, I'm going to do my best to post notes here. Bear with me, this live blogging thing is relatively new to me :)

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