econintersect.com
       
  

FREE NEWSLETTER: Econintersect sends a nightly newsletter highlighting news events of the day, and providing a summary of new articles posted on the website. Econintersect will not sell or pass your email address to others per our privacy policy. You can cancel this subscription at any time by selecting the unsubscribing link in the footer of each email.



posted on 21 October 2015

The Battle For Open Access Is Far From Over

from The Conversation

-- This post authored by Virginia Barbour, Australian National University

Today marks the beginning of the 8th Open Access (OA) week, a global event to highlight all things open access.

It also marks three years since the Australasian Open Access Support Group (AOASG) - a coalition of nine Australian universities and now the Council of New Zealand University Librarians (CONZUL) - came in to existence to advocate for OA in this region. So it's a good time to reflect on where we are with open access today.

It's now 25 years since the birth of the web, and more than 15 years since people started discussing open access. Yet we are still a long way from seeing the majority of the academic literature being open access.

What's more frustrating is that we have yet to maximise the opportunities offered by the internet in ways comparable to the effect it has had on our daily lives.

Great expectations

Why progress has not been universal can probably be traced back to the origins of open access. Back in 2003, the only major open access publishers were PLOS and BioMedCentral. Meanwhile, traditional publishers were largely ignoring OA.

Yet, one view was that we were heading for a world where everything is published in open access journals. This was to be funded by publication fees - a model called "gold open access". In a world where journals still charged hefty subscription fees, this proved hard to implement unilaterally, even though some countries, such as the UK, tried.

Australian university presses - such as at the Australian National University, University of Adelaide and University Technology Sydney - did develop alternative models of open access, particularly for monographs, which attract more than 1.5 million downloads per year.

Australian university libraries also leveraged a block of national eresearch infrastructure funding to build institutional repositories, through which green open access was promoted.

The Queensland University of Technology was the first university in the world to establish an OA mandate for research publications. In addition, many Australian universities now have OA policies in place. These repositories are heavily used, with QUT ranked 11th out of 2,188 in one institutional repositories ranking, for example.

However, we're still a long way from seeing open access reach ubiquity.

Free and open

In retrospect, moving to OA was always going to be more complex than these original visions, and there remain some essential features that are not yet settled. One of the most important of these is the confusion still apparent between "free" and "open" access. These terms are often used interchangeably, yet there is a huge different between them.

"Free" only means that articles can be read, and may be subject to an embargo before becoming free. "Open", when used correctly, means not only free (and immediate) access, but includes rights of reuse, all clearly denoted by a license, Creative Commons.

Why does this difference matter? Since the early 2000s, many hundreds of enterprises have sprung up to innovate in all aspects of publishing, ranging from new ways of publishing parts of articles, through to innovation in peer-review, and new business models for journals and books.

Crucial infrastructure was also put in place to allow seamless cross referencing of papers, unique identifiers for articles (and parts of articles) and for individual academics. What will maximise all of these innovations is the scholarly literature being truly open, not just free.

Resistance

There are also other forces at play working to oppose this rise of innovation and openness. One of the most important is the consolidation of journal ownership by a handful of for-profit publishers.

In some disciplines, such as chemistry, more than 70% of the journals are owned by only five publishers. One, Elsevier, noted (in a lawsuit) that "it is home to almost one-quarter of the world's peer-reviewed, full-text scientific, technical and medical content". This increasing acquisition of journals and associated services can only have a chilling effect on innovation.

The debate about the relationship between the traditional publishers and open access was brought to the fore recently in a way especially relevant for open access week. Elsevier announced that it was "donating" free access to a small number of Wikipedia editors so they could provide links to Elsevier articles from Wikipedia.

Wikipedia has been a proud champion of openness, and many of the links within Wikipedia are to open content. Yet, much of the academic literature is still not OA and requires subscriptions to access.

Elsevier's donation was greeted by fury, with some OA advocates (dubbing it "Wikigate") arguing it was a betrayal of Wikipedia's principles, and would also only maintain the status quo as espoused by Elsevier.

In response, Wikipedia argued it was being pragmatic. It is "writing an open-access encyclopedia in a closed-access world", and it was in everyone's interests to have Wikipedia editors have access to as wide a set of material as possible.

This debate illustrates nicely the compromises that open access publishing is now facing. There won't be one neat answer as to how we make the academic literature more open, and perhaps in retrospect that's to be expected.

But it does mean we are moving from a time of pure advocacy into a time where pragmatism and negotiation will be crucial to make open access a reality.

The ConversationVirginia Barbour, Executive Officer, Australasian Open Access Support Group, Australian National University

This article was originally published on The Conversation. Read the original article.

>>>>> Scroll down to view and make comments <<<<<<

Click here for Historical News Post Listing










Make a Comment

Econintersect wants your comments, data and opinion on the articles posted.  As the internet is a "war zone" of trolls, hackers and spammers - Econintersect must balance its defences against ease of commenting.  We have joined with Livefyre to manage our comment streams.

To comment, using Livefyre just click the "Sign In" button at the top-left corner of the comment box below. You can create a commenting account using your favorite social network such as Twitter, Facebook, Google+, LinkedIn or Open ID - or open a Livefyre account using your email address.



You can also comment using Facebook directly using he comment block below.





Econintersect Contributors


search_box

Print this page or create a PDF file of this page
Print Friendly and PDF


The growing use of ad blocking software is creating a shortfall in covering our fixed expenses. Please consider a donation to Econintersect to allow continuing output of quality and balanced financial and economic news and analysis.


Take a look at what is going on inside of Econintersect.com
Main Home
Analysis Blog
China, Russia, and the United States: Are They Superpowers?
A New Era of Central Banking?
News Blog
Real Paleo Diet: Early Hominids Ate Just About Everything
Amazon's Global Workforce Is Growing Rapidly
What We Read Today 23 February 2017
February 2017 Kansas City Fed Manufacturing At Highest Level Since June 2011
Lost In The Sixties-The Winds Of Change
January 2017 CFNAI Super Index Moving Average Statistically Unchanged
18 February 2017 Initial Unemployment Claims Rolling Average Insignificantly Improves
Jihadism: An Eerily Familiar Threat
Dynamic Stochastic General Equilibrium Forecast For February 2017
Infographic Of The Day: Guide To Tipping
Early Headlines: Asia Stocks Mostly Down, Oil Up, Dollar And Gold Steady, Extreme Arctic Warmth, Town Halls, More Water In Calif, UK Bogus Green Power, Mosul Airport Attacked And More
Documentary Of The Week: The History Of Humanity
Animals Know When They Are Being Treated Unfairly And They Don't Like It
Investing Blog
Investing.com Technical Summary 23 February 2016
Green Is Still A Go
Opinion Blog
Kenneth Arrow's Ignored Impossibility Theorem
The Blame Game
Precious Metals Blog
Deflation And Gold: A Contrarian View
Live Markets
23Feb2017 Market Close: Wall Street Closes Mixed Near The Unchanged Line, Nasdaq Closed Down Fractionally, The DOW Closes Up 35 Points, Crude And The US Dollar Remain Mostly Unchanged
Amazon Books & More






.... and keep up with economic news using our dynamic economic newspapers with the largest international coverage on the internet
Asia / Pacific
Europe
Middle East / Africa
Americas
USA Government





























 navigate econintersect.com

Blogs

Analysis Blog
News Blog
Investing Blog
Opinion Blog
Precious Metals Blog
Markets Blog
Video of the Day
Weather

Newspapers

Asia / Pacific
Europe
Middle East / Africa
Americas
USA Government
     

RSS Feeds / Social Media

Combined Econintersect Feed
Google+
Facebook
Twitter
Digg

Free Newsletter

Marketplace - Books & More

Economic Forecast

Content Contribution

Contact

About

  Top Economics Site

Investing.com Contributor TalkMarkets Contributor Finance Blogs Free PageRank Checker Active Search Results Google+

This Web Page by Steven Hansen ---- Copyright 2010 - 2017 Econintersect LLC - all rights reserved