Why Open Access definitions are confusing | Musings about librarianship
flavoursofopenscience's bookmarks 2021-04-07
by Aaron Tay
Synopsis : The definition of Open Access is far more complicated and debated than it appears on first glance. This goes beyond advocates simply disagreeing on how much "openness" is needed before it counts as Open Access (for example someone disagreeing that articles with CC-BY-NC counts as Open Access).
Rather, as open access categories start to get more nuanced and grainular, our attempts to force open access definitions into singular colors/metal labels such as (Green, Gold, Bronze, Platinium) and act like they all differ in just one dimension is overly simplistic, when in fact the definitions vary on multiple dimensions.
In the examples below, I review some of the recent confusions that I have encountered personally which shows the problems such simplistic thinking can cause.
The solution is to decompose open access categories among multiple dimensions not one (e.g. user rights, prestige, cost, peer review, immediacy), to avoid confusing, counter-intutive or arbitary definitions.
I'm in debted by discussion with experts such as Cameron Neylon, Bianca Kramer, Lisa Janicke Hinchliffe, Ricard Orr and more on Twitter. Any misunderstandings of the topic and misrepresentations of their positions (if any) are mine.