October 19 - October 23 is designated Open Access Week, in order to raise awareness of open access publication and scholarship. So, I'll be blogging a little bit more about open access during the next few days.
For my first post, I wanted to clarify a common confusion that I hear from many colleagues: open source vs. open access. Although the terms are related in some ways (indeed, they derive from a very similar philosophy), they refer to two discrete concepts.
Open Access: Focuses on the unrestricted sharing of research results, typically through open access journals (PLoS ONE, Palaeontologia Electronica, etc.).
Open Source: Computer software, typically (but not always) freely distributed, in which the source code is freely available. There are a host of other stipulations in some definitions, which are largely an elaboration upon this point.
Thus, PLoS ONE is open access; 3D Slicer is open source.