Peter Suber

Peter Dain Suber (born November 8, 1951) is a philosopher specializing in the philosophy of law and open access to knowledge. He is a Senior Researcher at the Berkman Klein Center for Internet & Society, Director of the Harvard Office for Scholarly Communication,[4] and Director of the Harvard Open Access Project (HOAP).[3][5][6] Suber is known as a leading voice in the open access movement,[7][8] and as the creator of the game Nomic.

Peter Suber
Peter Suber in Brooksville, Maine, November 2009
BornNovember 8, 1951 (age 67)
Alma materNorthwestern University
Known forNomic
Open access[1]
Budapest Open Access Initiative
Spouse(s)Liffey Thorpe
AwardsLyman Ray Patterson Copyright Award (2011)[2]
Scientific career
FieldsOpen access
InstitutionsNorthwestern University
Earlham College
Harvard University
Scholarly Publishing and Academic Resources Coalition
Berkman Klein Center for Internet & Society
Wikimedia Foundation
Open Knowledge Foundation
Public Knowledge
ThesisKierkegaard's Concept of Irony especially in relation to Freedom, Personality and Dialectic (1978)
Doctoral advisorWilliam A. Earle


Suber graduated from Earlham College in 1973, received a PhD degree in philosophy in 1978, writing a dissertation on Søren Kierkegaard[9] and a Juris Doctor degree in 1982, both from Northwestern University.


Previously, Suber was senior research professor of philosophy at Earlham College, the open access project director at Public Knowledge, a senior researcher at Scholarly Publishing and Academic Resources Coalition (SPARC),.[10] He is a member of the Board of Enabling Open Scholarship,[11] the Advisory Boards at the Wikimedia Foundation, the Open Knowledge Foundation, and the advisory boards of other organizations devoted to open access and an information commons.

Suber worked as a stand-up comic from 1976 to 1981, including an appearance on The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson in 1976. Suber returned to Earlham College as a professor from 1982 to 2003 where he taught classes on philosophy, law, logic, and Kant's Critique of Pure Reason, among other topics.

Suber participated in the 2001 meeting that led to the world's first major international open access initiative, the Budapest Open Access Initiative. He wrote Open Access News and the SPARC Open Access Newsletter, considered the most authoritative blog and newsletter on open access. He is also the founder of the Open Access Tracking Project, and co-founder, with Robin Peek, of the Open Access Directory.

In philosophy, Suber is the author of The Paradox of Self-Amendment,[12] the first book-length study of self-referential paradoxes in law, and The Case of the Speluncean Explorers: Nine New Opinions,[13] the first book-length "rehearing" of Lon Fuller's classic, fictional case. He has also written many articles on self-reference, ethics, formal and informal logic, the philosophy of law, and the history of philosophy.[14]

He has written many articles on open access to science and scholarship.[15] His 2012 book, Open Access, was published by MIT Press and released under a Creative Commons license.[1] His latest book is a collection of 44 of his most influential articles about open access, Knowledge Unbound: Selected Writings on Open Access, 2002–2010, also published by MIT Press under a Creative Commons license.[16]

Suber has directed the development of TagTeam since its start in 2011. TagTeam is an open-source, social-tagging platform developed for the Harvard Open Access Project[17] at the Berkman Klein Center for Internet & Society at Harvard University.

Honours and awards

Lingua Franca magazine named Suber one of Academia's 20 Most Wired Faculty in 1999.[18] Readers of The Charleston Advisor gave him a special Readers' Choice Award in October 2006, "Non-Librarian Working for Our Cause." [19] The American Library Association named him the winner of the Lyman Ray Patterson Copyright Award for 2011.[2] Choice named his book on Open Access[1] "an Outstanding Academic Title for 2013." [20]

Peter Suber at the 10th anniversary meeting of the Budapest Open Access Initiative in February 2012.

Personal life

Suber is married to Liffey Thorpe, professor emerita of Classics at Earlham College, with whom he has two daughters. Since 2003, he and Thorpe have resided in Brooksville, Maine.[21]

Selected publications

  • Knowledge Unbound (MIT Press, 2016)[a]
  • Open Access (MIT Press, 2012)
  • The Case of the Speluncean Explorers: Nine New Opinions (Routledge, 1998)
  • The Paradox of Self-Amendment: A Study of Logic, Law, Omnipotence, and Change (Peter Lang Publishing, 1990)
  • Self-Reference: Reflections on Reflexivity, co-edited with Steven J. Bartlett (Martinus Nijhoff, 1987)

Further reading

  • Suber, P. (2002). "Open access to the scientific journal literature". Journal of Biology. 1 (1): 3. doi:10.1186/1475-4924-1-3. PMC 117246. PMID 12144706.
  • Suber, P. (2002). "Where does the free online scholarship movement stand today?". Cortex. 38 (2): 261–264. doi:10.1016/S0010-9452(08)70656-7. PMID 12056694.
  • Suber, P. (2003). "Open access: Other ways". Nature. 426 (6962): 15. doi:10.1038/426015b. PMID 14603286.
  • Suber, P. (2003). ""Author pays" publishing model: Answering to some objections". BMJ. 327 (7405): 54. doi:10.1136/bmj.327.7405.54. PMC 1126400. PMID 12842973.
  • Suber, P. (2005). "Open access, impact, and demand". BMJ. 330 (7500): 1097–1098. doi:10.1136/bmj.330.7500.1097. PMC 557876. PMID 15891208.
  • Suber, P. (2008). "An open access mandate for the National Institutes of Health". Open Medicine. 2 (2): e39–e41. PMC 3090178. PMID 21602938.
  • Suber, P. (2012). "Ensuring open access for publicly funded research". BMJ. 345: e5184. doi:10.1136/bmj.e5184. PMC 3414432. PMID 22875953.


  1. ^ Knowledge Unbound was released for free under the Creative Commons license, (See: Wikipedia:Text of Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License) and may be downloaded for free from the Internet Archive.[22]


  1. ^ a b c Suber, Peter (2012). Open Access. MIT Press Essential Knowledge. Cambridge, Massachusetts: The MIT Press. ISBN access
  2. ^ a b "L. Ray Patterson Copyright Award". 8 January 2007.
  3. ^ a b Peter Suber publications indexed by Google Scholar
  4. ^ "Home - Harvard OSC".
  5. ^ "Harvard Open Access Project".
  6. ^ List of publications from Microsoft Academic
  7. ^ Rogawski, M. A.; Suber, P. (2006). "Support for the NIH Public Access Policy". Science. 313 (5793): 1572a. doi:10.1126/science.313.5793.1572a. PMID 16973859.
  8. ^ "Keeping Up To Date On Scholarly Communication Issues". Retrieved 2010-02-25.
  9. ^ Suber, Peter Dain (1978). Kierkegaard's Concept of Irony especially in relation to Freedom, Personality and Dialectic (PhD thesis). Northwestern University.(subscription required)
  10. ^ "SPARC". 2009-11-06. Retrieved 2010-02-25.
  11. ^ "Enabling Open Scholarship (EOS) - EOS - Home". Archived from the original on 2010-06-15.
  12. ^ Suber, Peter (1990). The paradox of self-amendment: a study of logic, law, omnipotence, and change. Frankfurt am Main: P. Lang. ISBN access
  13. ^ Suber, Peter (1998). The case of the speluncean explorers: nine new opinions. New York: Routledge. ISBN 0-415-18546-7.
  14. ^ Suber, Peter. "Writings". Berkman Klein Center for Internet & Society.
  15. ^ Suber, Peter. "Writings on Open Access". Berkman Klein Center for Internet & access
  16. ^ Suber, Peter (2016). Knowledge Unbound. Cambridge, Massachusetts: The MIT Press. ISBN access
  17. ^ "Harvard Open Access Project (HOAP)".
  18. ^ "Lingua Franca July/August 1999".
  19. ^ "The Charleston Advisor From Your Managing Editor Sixth Annual Readers' Choice Awards".
  20. ^
  21. ^ "Liffey's Home Page". Earlham College.
  22. ^ Suber, Peter (2016). "Knowledge Unbound". MIT Press.

External links is an American social networking website for academics. The platform can be used to share papers, monitor their impact, and follow the research in a particular field. It was launched in September 2008, with 39 million unique visitors per month as of January 2019 and over 21 million uploaded texts. was founded by Richard Price, who raised $600,000 from Spark Ventures, HOWZAT Partners, Brent Hoberman, and others.

Bethesda Statement on Open Access Publishing

The Bethesda Statement on Open Access Publishing is a 2003 statement which defines the concept of open access and then supports that concept.

Budapest Open Access Initiative

The Budapest Open Access Initiative (BOAI) is a public statement of principles relating to open access to the research literature, which was released to the public February 14, 2002. It arose from a conference convened in Budapest by the Open Society Institute on December 1–2, 2001 to promote open access – at the time also known as Free Online Scholarship. This small gathering of individuals is recognised as one of the major defining events of the open access movement. On the occasion of the 10th anniversary of the initiative, it was reaffirmed in 2012 and supplemented with a set of concrete recommendations for achieving "the new goal that within the next ten years, OA will become the default method for distributing new peer-reviewed research in every field and country."

Cherry picking

Cherry picking, suppressing evidence, or the fallacy of incomplete evidence is the act of pointing to individual cases or data that seem to confirm a particular position while ignoring a significant portion of related cases or data that may contradict that position. It is a kind of fallacy of selective attention, the most common example of which is the confirmation bias. Cherry picking may be committed intentionally or unintentionally. This fallacy is a major problem in public debate.The term is based on the perceived process of harvesting fruit, such as cherries. The picker would be expected to only select the ripest and healthiest fruits. An observer who only sees the selected fruit may thus wrongly conclude that most, or even all, of the tree's fruit is in a likewise good condition. This can also give a false impression of the quality of the fruit (since it is only a sample and is not a representative sample).

Cherry picking has a negative connotation as the practice neglects, overlooks or directly suppresses evidence that could lead to a complete picture.

A concept sometimes confused with cherry picking is the idea of gathering only the fruit that is easy to harvest, while ignoring other fruit that is higher up on the tree and thus more difficult to obtain (see low-hanging fruit).

Cherry picking can be found in many logical fallacies. For example, the "fallacy of anecdotal evidence" tends to overlook large amounts of data in favor of that known personally, "selective use of evidence" rejects material unfavorable to an argument, while a false dichotomy picks only two options when more are available. Cherry picking can refer to the selection of data or data sets so a study or survey will give desired, predictable results which may be misleading or even completely contrary to reality.

Friendship knot loop

Friendship knot loop is a knot to tie a secure and stable loop at the end of a rope.

The slipped version where the last move is done with a bight of the end, rather than with the end itself, is one that can be tightened flat, slid, locked (like a belt buckle), and then untied quickly (like when nature calls) with an exploding pop. If not tightened flat, this Slipped friendship knot loop collapses into a cube and will neither slide nor pop.


Gnomic may refer to:

Gnomic aspect, a grammatical mood or tense expressing a general truth

Gnomic will, a concept in Eastern Orthodox theology

Gnomic poetry, a poetic form

A Gnome (rhetoric) or gnomic saying

Hybrid open-access journal

A hybrid open-access journal is a subscription journal in which some of the articles are open access. This status typically requires the payment of a publication fee (also called an article processing charge or APC) to the publisher in order to publish an article open access, in addition to the continued payment of subscriptions to access all other content.

Information Society Project

The Information Society Project (ISP) at Yale Law School is an intellectual center studying the implications of the Internet and new information technologies for law and society. The ISP was founded in 1997 by Jack Balkin, Knight Professor of Constitutional Law and the First Amendment at Yale Law School. Jack Balkin is the director of the ISP.

Yale ISP faculty members, postdoctoral fellows, and law school student fellows engage in research, education, and social activism geared toward promoting global access to knowledge, advocating democratic values in the information society, and protecting and expanding civil liberties in the Information Age. The ISP has contributed to the development of the Access to Knowledge social movement, which aims to build an intellectual framework that will protect access to knowledge both as the basis for sustainable human development and to safeguard human rights. ISP-led courses, projects, a weekly speaker series, and workshops that integrate Yale law students into the exploration of new problems in collaboration with departments across the Yale campus. The ISP also provides advice and education to policy makers, business leaders, nonprofit organizations, and the global legal community. International conferences organized by the ISP have addressed topics such as Access to Knowledge, Cybercrime, Library 2.0, Open ICT Standards, Globalization and Information Flows, and Search Engine Law.

Valerie Belair-Gagnon is the Executive Director of the ISP (2014–present). Previous Executive Directors have included Margot E. Kaminsky (2011–14) and Laura DeNardis (2008-11), and Eddan Katz.

Faculty Fellows have included: Yochai Benkler, Professor of Law; Ian Ayres, William K. Townsend Professor of Law; Robert Post (law professor), David, Boies Professor of Law; Carol Rose, Gordon Bradford Tweedy, Professor of Law and Organization; and Henry Smith, Professor of Law. Fellows have included: Beth Simone Noveck, Mike Godwin, Wendy Seltzer, Peter Suber, and Michael Zimmer.

The official Twitter handle is @yaleisp.


Jurn is a free online search tool for the finding and downloading of free full-text scholarly works. It was established in a public online open beta version in February 2009, initially for finding open access electronic journal articles in the arts and humanities. An additional public directory of web links to the indexed journals was placed online in mid 2009. The Jurn search service and directory has since been continually updated and cleaned. In March 2014 Jurn expanded to index topics in science, biomedicine, business and economics, plus selected university repository services for open access deposit papers and full-text theses. Jurn is powered by a Google Custom Search Engine (CSE) and is run without any adverts.

LiLi Li of Georgia Southern University described Jurn as a "recognised academic search engine" in his 2014 book Scholarly Information Discovery in the Networked Academic Learning Environment, and included a paragraph describing the Jurn service. Jurn also has a descriptive entry in Marcus P. Zillman's annotated White Paper "Academic and Scholar Search Engines and Sources". In 2015 University of Maryland librarian Matthew Testa tested JURN alongside Google Scholar and he concluded that... "JURN can be an effective way to find OA [open access] content from a variety of sources".At 2016 Jurn is web linked by a number of academic and government libraries, including the Central Library of the European Commission, Jesus College, University of Cambridge, University of California and Princeton University Library.


Mendeley is a desktop and web program produced by Elsevier for managing and sharing research papers, discovering research data and collaborating online. It combines Mendeley Desktop, a PDF and reference management application available for Windows, macOS (Sierra and High Sierra no longer supported) and Linux. It also provides Mendeley for Android and iOS, with Mendeley Web, an online social network for researchers.Mendeley requires the user to store all basic citation data on its servers—storing copies of documents is at the user's discretion. Upon registration, Mendeley provides the user with 2 GB of free web storage space, which is upgradeable at a cost.

Since its 1.19 release in 2018, Mendeley encrypts its local database using a proprietary algorithm. It is further no longer possible to export collections of annotated files, such as for scientific collaboration, leading to a vendor lock-in situation.

Metamagical Themas

Metamagical Themas is an eclectic collection of articles that Douglas Hofstadter wrote for the popular science magazine Scientific American during the early 1980s. The anthology was published in 1985 by Basic Books.

The volume is substantial in size and contains extensive notes concerning responses to the articles and other information relevant to their content. (One of the notes—page 65—suggested memetics for the study of memes.)

Major themes include: self-reference in memes, language, art and logic; discussions of philosophical issues important in cognitive science/AI; analogies and what makes something similar to something else (specifically what makes, for example, an uppercase letter 'A' recognizable as such); and lengthy discussions of the work of Robert Axelrod on the prisoner's dilemma, as well as the idea of superrationality.

The concept of superrationality, and its relevance to the Cold War, environmental issues and such, is accompanied by some amusing and rather stimulating notes on experiments conducted by the author at the time. Another notable feature is the inclusion of two dialogues in the style of those appearing in Gödel, Escher, Bach. Ambigrams are mentioned.

There are three articles centered on the Lisp programming language, where Hofstadter first details the language itself, and then shows how it relates to Gödel's incompleteness theorem. Two articles are devoted to Rubik's Cube and other such puzzles. Many other topics are also mentioned, all in Hofstadter's usual easy, approachable style. Many chapters open with an illustration of an extremely abstract alphabet, yet one which is still gestaltly recognizable as such.

The game of Nomic was first introduced to the public in this column, in June 1982, when excerpts from a book (still unpublished at the time) by the game's creator Peter Suber were printed and discussed.

The index of the book mentions Hofstadter's recurring alter ego, Egbert B. Gebstadter.


Nomic is a game created in 1982 by philosopher Peter Suber in which the rules of the game include mechanisms for the players to change those rules, usually beginning through a system of democratic voting. Nomic is a game in which changing the rules is a move. In that respect it differs from almost every other game. The primary activity of Nomic is proposing changes in the rules, debating the wisdom of changing them in that way, voting on the changes, deciding what can and cannot be done afterwards, and doing it. Even this core of the game, of course, can be changed.

The initial ruleset was designed by Peter Suber, but first published in Douglas Hofstadter's column Metamagical Themas in Scientific American in June 1982. The column discussed Suber's then-upcoming book, The Paradox of Self-Amendment, which was published some years later. Nomic now refers to a large number of games, all based on the initial ruleset.

The game is in some ways modeled on modern government systems. It demonstrates that in any system where rule changes are possible, a situation may arise in which the resulting laws are contradictory or insufficient to determine what is in fact legal. Because the game models (and exposes conceptual questions about) a legal system and the problems of legal interpretation, it is named after νόμος (nomos), Greek for "law".

While the victory condition in Suber's initial ruleset is the accumulation of 100 points by the roll of dice, he once said that "this rule is deliberately boring so that players will quickly amend it to please themselves". Players can change the rules to such a degree that points can become irrelevant in favor of a true currency, or make victory an unimportant concern. Any rule in the game, including the rules specifying the criteria for winning and even the rule that rules must be obeyed, can be changed. Any loophole in the ruleset, however, may allow the first player to discover it the chance to pull a "scam" and modify the rules to win the game. Complicating this process is the fact that Suber's initial ruleset allows for the appointment of judges to preside over issues of rule interpretation.

Open-access mandate

An open-access mandate is a policy adopted by a research institution, research funder, or government which requires researchers—usually university faculty or research staff and/or research grant recipients—to make their published, peer-reviewed journal articles and conference papers open access (1) by self-archiving their final, peer-reviewed drafts in a freely accessible institutional repository or disciplinary repository ("Green OA") or (2) by publishing them in an open-access journal ("Gold OA") or both.

Open-access repository

An open-access repository or open archive is a digital platform that holds research output and provides free, immediate and permanent access to research results for anyone to use, download and distribute. To facilitate open access such repositories must be interoperable according to the Open Archives Initiative Protocol for Metadata Harvesting (OAI-PMH). Search engines harvest the content of open access repositories, constructing a database of worldwide, free of charge available research.As opposed to a simple institutional repository or disciplinary repository, open-access repositories provide free access to research for users outside the institutional community and are one of the recommended ways to achieve the open access vision described in the Budapest Open Access Initiative definition of open access. This is sometimes referred to as the self-archiving or "green" route to open access.

Open Humanities Press

Open Humanities Press is an international open access publishing initiative in the humanities, specializing in critical and cultural theory. OHP's editorial board includes leading scholars such as Alain Badiou, Jonathan Culler, Stephen Greenblatt, Jean-Claude Guédon, J. Hillis Miller, Antonio Negri, Peter Suber and Gayatri Spivak among others.

Open access in Germany

Open access to scholarly communication in Germany has evolved rapidly since the early 2000s. Publishers Beilstein-Institut, Copernicus Publications, De Gruyter, Knowledge Unlatched, Leibniz Institute for Psychology Information, ScienceOpen, Springer Nature, and Universitätsverlag Göttingen belong to the international Open Access Scholarly Publishers Association.

Open admissions

Open admissions, or open enrollment, is a type of unselective and noncompetitive college admissions process in the United States in which the only criterion for entrance is a high school diploma or a certificate of attendance or General Educational Development (GED) certificate.

Open university

An open university is a university with an open-door academic policy, with minimal or no entry requirements. Open universities may employ specific teaching methods, such as open supported learning or distance education. However, not all open universities focus on distance education, nor do distance-education universities necessarily have open admission policies.

Research Works Act

The Research Works Act, 102 H.R. 3699, was a bill that was introduced in the United States House of Representatives at the 112th United States Congress on December 16, 2011, by Representative Darrell Issa (R-CA) and co-sponsored by Carolyn B. Maloney (D-NY). The bill contained provisions to prohibit open-access mandates for federally funded research and effectively revert the United States' National Institutes of Health Public Access Policy, which requires taxpayer-funded research to be freely accessible online. If enacted, it would have also severely restricted the sharing of scientific data. The bill was referred to the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, of which Issa is the chair. Similar bills were introduced in 2008 and 2009 but have not been enacted since.On February 27, 2012 Elsevier, a major publisher, announced that it was withdrawing support for the Act. Later that day, Issa and Maloney issued a statement saying that they would not push for legislative action on the bill.

Concepts and
Projects and

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