As we have just published in PLOS One and Scientific Reports (the open access journal from NPG), I have been watching the move to open access with great interest. The idea is not only for papers to be immediately accessible to anyone, but also to facilitate discussion and to be able to use and link things together without restriction. A major proponent of this movement is Jonathon Eisen, a professor from UC Berkeley who is also Academic Editor for PLOS Biology. Together, his blog and lab web site is a living testament to open access and reveals much of what could be accomplished by taking it seriously. Seems scary to have it all out there but somehow it seems to be a good thing.
Also, was transfixed watching a recent Ted Talk by Salvatore Iaconesi, who teaches digital design at La Sapienza University of Rome. After being diagnosed with brain cancer, he obtained his medical records, converted them to open formats so that anyone with a computer could view them and asked for comments, feedback, discussion etc. Quite fascinating. Below, is a living map from his web site on which he posts each cure offered.