Entire Academic Fields Take Responsibility for Open Access : Open Access Now
"In the past 12-15 months we have seen a significant shift in who is taking responsibility for shifting research culture toward open access. Once referred to as the 'Scholarly Communications Serials Crisis' and lauded by librarians and information professionals, the tune has been taken up by researchers and academics concerned with their voice in the production and dissemination of scholarship. There are still divides along disciplinary lines, where humanities and social sciences hold valid arguments about how their work is funded differently than the STEM fields, but we are starting to see experimental models responding to those concerns. Physicists especially have been leaders in open access where they have utilized arXiv for sharing research openly for nearly 25 years. The recent advances in the SCOAP3 (Sponsoring Consortium for Open Access Publishing in Particle Physics) project, a model where libraries and research funders will pay into a consortium which will facilitate peer-review and produce entirely open access articles, looks to subvert subscriptions as the method of payment for publishing... Last week, Timothy Gowers, the world-renowned mathematician who fueled the Cost Of Knowledge boycottt of Elsevier, announced on his blog that the field of mathematics will be taking on a similar venture. The Episciences Project will introduce the model of an 'EpiJournal,' taking the parts of publishing the academics do for free – reviewing and editing – and eschewing the parts that have implicit costs – type-setting and copy-editing. As Dr. Gowers puts it, 'It is just like an electronic journal, except that instead of a website with lots of carefully formatted articles, all you get is a list of links to preprints on the arXiv.' Simply, the idea is to organize articles posted to arXiv into cohesive journals with review boards and Editors to oversee the quality of the work, and include in this journal platform the ability to add comments to the articles, which may look like some other models of open peer review that we have seen explored. Nature News picked up the story last week and had this to say ..."