Open – An Obvious Concept!

peter.suber's bookmarks 2021-09-21


"For me it all started in 2000 when I, as Director of Libraries at Lund University, Sweden, was approached by a young researcher, who just had quit the university and got a job at one of the many spin-off companies at the university’s Science Park. He came to me and was very annoyed and disappointed: suddenly he was no longer an authorized user, and his access to the 10.000+ digital journals was cut off. He was supposed to develop new products in his company, and suddenly he had lost access to the research results, which were mostly generated by taxpayer money. For my part this was also an eye-opener. It suddenly became clear that instead of providing information to users, we as librarians and libraries are, in fact, blocking relevant users from access to the information they need to be able to do innovation, product development, etc. For our societies to benefit from research results, these must be available for those who can transform the knowledge into innovative products and services, without barriers....

The Open Access concept was met with broad skepticism from academia and resistance from the dominant publishers. A lot of misinformation had to be dealt with. But now, nearly two decades later, the open agenda has broadened to encompass academic monographs, research data and peer-review. We have the open science agenda supported by the leaders of universities, research funders, governments, and international organizations. Today it is difficult to find a university president or a president of a research funder who would dare say that the open agenda is wrong....

So, we should be happy, we have won the discussion. But there is apparently quite a distance between what decision-makers say they want to see happen, and what they actually do, what kind of behavior they actually reward! Strong forces are delaying the implementation of open....

But strong mandates and concrete incentives are needed to bring about change in researcher behavior. Universities and research funders should also promote the APC-free Open Access model by subsidizing the dissemination of the research they fund! ...

Open Access is inevitable. It will come in several forms. But much more determined decisions and actions from the decision makers are needed, or else we will see the access crisis develop into a participation crisis. Less privileged countries and their researchers might have access to more information, but due to high publication charges they will not be able to participate in the global scholarly discussion. This will harm all of us, just like we are now reproducing the global divide in access to Covid-19 vaccines!!"


From feeds:

Open Access Tracking Project (OATP) » peter.suber's bookmarks

Tags: oa.recommendations oa.advocacy oa.obstacles oa.academic_freedom oa.policies oa.mandates oa.fees

Date tagged:

09/21/2021, 16:52

Date published:

09/21/2021, 12:52