Suber, Peter. Knowledge Unbound: Selected Writings on Open Access, 2002-2011. Cambridge: MIT Press, 2016. 436 pages.
The full text of the book is freely available here, as an open access (OA) publication.
Review by Scott Richard St. Louis
Cards on the table: during my undergraduate years, and more recently as an early-career professional, I have found it lamentably true that conferences tend to lack a felt coherence. Even when these gatherings convene around various themes, the splintered arrays of concurrent activity often fail to inspire the development of robust intellectual community: something that can persist long after the flights home have landed and the CVs are updated. This is a bleak assessment, given the tremendous potential that such community can entail when it becomes both durable and open to new participation, especially for younger scholars. Even so, this perception is almost definitely not mine alone. In fact, it is thrown into stark relief every time an abundance of meandering presentations are inflicted upon overtaxed audiences from reams of double-spaced Times New Roman. I am exaggerating for effect, of course, but only for the sake of appealing to an observation I take to be fairly common, albeit difficult to act upon productively. Happily, in any case, exceptions to the rule are plentiful. (Thanks in no small part to this wonderful blog, I would count the Society for U.S. Intellectual History among them!)