The Borgesian open-access library

Coming soon, freely accessible peer-reviewed journals that cover, well, just about anything

Topics: Globalization, How the World Works,

In one of the most eccentric posts since the inception of How the World Works, “Phytoplanktonic petroleum and the reincarnation of Tenali Ramakrishna,” I wrote, in the first of four formal digressions:

…We are but moments away from the full realization of a Borgesian Blogosphere in which there will be a blog covering each and every discrete phenomenon that has or will or could ever exist in every possible universe, including those that are as yet busy being born, and blogs that cover all the potential intersections between any of those phenomena, as well as an infinite number of blogs dedicated to organizing, analyzing, providing context for the aforementioned blogs, and otherwise filling in all the rest of the gaps.

I now realize I was thinking too small. There won’t just be a mere blog for every conceivability. There will also be an open-access, peer-reviewed academic journal dedicated to reporting the results of randomized trials investigating … whatever.

This epiphany comes courtesy of Peter Suber’s Open Access News, wherein he relates the news that MedKnow will be debuting three new open-access peer-reviewed journals in 2008:

  • International Journal of Yoga
  • Journal of Gynecological Endoscopy
  • Journal of Sexual Medicine, Andrology & Gender



While vainly hoping that “andrology” referred to the science of all things Andrew-related, I was saddened to learn that, no, “andrology” is the male equivalent to “gynecology.” It distinguishes itself from “urology” by focusing on male reproductive issues, as distinct from urinary tract issues. As for “sexual medicine” — it’s all about the erection science.

Clearly, this kind of material should not be kept behind closed doors! Once again, How the World Works salutes the open access movement.

Andrew Leonard

Andrew Leonard is a staff writer at Salon. On Twitter, @koxinga21.

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