Spotlight on the OASPA Board: Stuart Taylor - OASPA
peter.suber's bookmarks 2018-10-29
"By the end of the 1990s, open access was being talked about more and more, but it was seen only as a threat to commercial companies like the one I was working for. Something to be fought or at least contained. After the millennium, publishers started to see that a new open access world might be inevitable and began to figure out what that might look like. There have been many positive changes since I started out. The most obvious one has been that virtually all scholarly journals are now online – which is, of course, what enables open access to become a reality. But we still face many challenges. Although early career scientists are often very enthusiastic about open science and open access, it is still quite low down the priority list of many researchers; at least, it isn’t reflected in the publishing choices they make (unless they are required to by their funder)....
I think there are three main challenges in progressing the movement. Within the academic community, the system of research evaluation and reward – which is overly focussed on the prestige of where you publish – has a serious chilling effect on the adoption of newer publishing outlets and OA journals. This will require a real change in the culture of science, but if we can build a better system for research evaluation, we can enable real progress in all sorts of areas. I see this is the mother of all the problems, frankly.
Powerful lobbying by some commercial players, the gradual consolidation of many services under them (including even preprint servers) and their ability to negotiate big deals also slows down progress by locking institutions in and smaller players out.
Thirdly, the ongoing reputational issue of open access sometimes leads to the conclusion that open access publishers have lower standards. Although this is mostly untrue, it is unfortunate that the APC model has made the barrier for entry much lower for unscrupulous actors prepared to exploit researchers....
[Societies] want to be able to make research as open as possible – that is in their mission. But they also need to be able to fund their other activities – those are also in their mission!
Saying that, many societies are making great progress towards OA and – like the Royal Society – are really embracing open science, in all sorts of ways. At the moment, I’m keen to encourage dialogue between learned societies to share knowledge and experiences. Ultimately we are all there to do the best for our communities, so if we can help each other navigate the great changes that are currently underway, we should....
But perhaps the most important of all are the funders. They are really starting realise the key role they can play in driving forward open access and have become real game changers. I’d single out Wellcome especially who have always been at the forefront of OA and are continuing to set the pace. But also the Gates Foundation, Howard Hughes Medical Institute, CERN and many others. Most recent of the funder initiatives, of course, is Plan S, which OASPA recently supported...."