"A number of influential scientists have begun to argue that the cost of research publications has grown so large that it impedes the distribution of knowledge. Some subscriptions cost thousands of dollars per year, and those journals are usually available online only to subscribers. This looks less like dissemination than restriction, especially if it is measured against the potential access offered by the Internet. That is why a coalition led by Dr. Harold Varmus, the former director of the National Institutes of Health, is creating a new model, called the Public Library of Science."
The full op-ed [NYT]
See also, the Open Archives Initiative