The Open Access Interviews: Jan Velterop
Connotea Imports 2012-07-31
"In the world of scholarly publishing, Jan Velterop is a well-regarded “old hand”. But an old hand who has shown himself to be very receptive to new ways of doing things....While at Academic Press in the mid-1990s, Velterop was one of the architects of what was to become known as the Big Deal — an arrangement by which large bundles of electronic journals are sold on multi-year “all you can eat” contracts. While the Big Deal has now fallen into disfavour, it was a revolutionary development in the world of scholarly publishing, and remains a very significant part of the landscape. In 2000, Velterop joined BioMed Central, the first commercial open-access science publisher, and in 2001 he was one of a small group of people who gathered together in Budapest to discuss, “the international effort to make research articles in all academic fields freely available on the internet.” It was at that meeting that the Open Access movement was born, along with the Budapest Open Access Initiative (BOAI), and the BOAI statement — “the clearest and most generic of what Open Access means and should mean”, suggests Velterop....It is, therefore, unsurprising that Velterop takes the view that publishers have made a serious error of judgment in pushing for the controversial Research Works Act (RWA) — a new bill introduced into the US House of Representatives at the end of last year that would roll back the Public Access Policy introduced by the US National Institutes of Health. “I truly don’t understand how a sophisticated industry could get itself into a PR disaster like the RWA,” he says. More of Velterop’s views on these and other aspects of scholarly publishing can be read in the attached interview...."