Another call for Open Access

Just a couple days after I talked about Open Access book publishing, the incomparable danah boyd, in her blog, calls for the elimination of locked-down academic journals and databases.

I’m all for her idea– after all, we’re all accessing journals electronically at this point anyway, and server space is far cheaper and more flexible than the current publication/database model. I know that some academic libraries– including one of my former institutions– are so cash-strapped that all they can afford to do is maintain their database subscriptions, and have had to put book purchases on hold.

One question I would pose, however: the open-access model works much better going forward, as we look to our next publication. What kind of model can be made to replace or lower barriers to the “backwards-facing” (for lack of a better term) aspect of academic journal databases? Is there any way we can open up access to the vast array of old journal articles that are, to most of us, only accessible via databases like JStor, Ebsco, or Project MUSE?