|Biotechnology is the use of living organismsâmicrobes, plants, or animalsâto provide useful new products or processes. In a broad sense, biotechnology continues a process that is thousands of years old. Using traditional plant breeding techniques, humans have altered the genetic composition of almost every crop by only planting seeds from plants with desired traits, or by controlling pollination. As a result, most commercial crops bear little resemblance to their early relatives. Current maize varieties are so changed from their wild progenitors that they cannot survive without continual human intervention.
Open access to the scientific literature means the removal of barriers (including price barriers) from accessing scholarly work. There are two parallel âroadsâ towards open access: Open Access articles and self-archiving. Open Access articles are immediately, freely available on their Web site, a model mostly funded by charges paid by the author (usually through a research grant). The alternative for a researcher is âself-archivingâ (i.e., to publish in a traditional journal, where only subscribers have immediate access, but to make the article available on their personal and/or institutional Web sites (including so-called repositories or archives)), which is a practice allowed by many scholarly journals. Open Access rises practical and policy questions for scholars, publishers, funders, and policymakers alike, including what the return on investment is when paying an article processing fee to publish in an Open Access articles, or whether investments into institutional repositories should be made and whether self-archiving should be made mandatory, as contemplated by some funders.