Posts Tagged ‘open access’

More Issues in Open Access(#OA)

Thursday, December 13th, 2012

There has been a recent flurry of activity around Open Access (OA) as Research Councils UK (RCUK) and the Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE) gear up to implement the recommendations of the Finch report. As readers of this blog know, I have been interested in the emergence of new forms of publishing in the Humanities and Social Sciences (HSS) for a while now, and since becoming an editor of Politics, my interest has sharpened. Those of you have read earlier blogs will know I am very much in favour of OA, but quite worried by the current proposals for so-called Gold OA (where open access is secured via the author or author’s institution paying an upfront Article Processing Charge or APC). I also perceive there to be a lack of detailed understanding of the whole infrastructure that lies submerged behind academic publishing: from peer review to the outreach activities of Learned Societies (disclaimer: I am trustee of the British International Studies Association) to mundane things like copy editing services.

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Opening up publicly funded research – the questions David Willetts hasn’t answered

Monday, July 16th, 2012

Today the UK Science Minister David Willetts announced ‘plans to make publicly funded scientific research immediately available for anyone to read for free by 2014’. Research Councils UK also unveiled a new Open Access policy today that will apply to all of the publications which derive from work research funded by its members. This policy received less attention but may well have wider ramifications. It is also notably different to the one proposed by Willetts.

On the face of it this interest in, and endorsement of, Open access sounds like great news – who isn’t in favour of free dissemination of ideas? But, as I have already noted, the questions raised by discussions about Open Access are frequently obscured by the headlines. And this announcement raises some pretty significant questions:
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Some Thoughts on Open Access Publishing

Tuesday, July 3rd, 2012

photo: B4bees

Last week Graham Harman posted an interesting set of thoughts about the importance of open access publishing (here, here, here and here). I came to Harman’s comments via Stuart Elden’s comments here (Stuart has also posted links to some really good comments by Jo Van Every here and here). One of the important things that both Elden and Harman note is that the opportunity to move to blog postings for dissemination of work has much to do with context – both the career stage you are at and the national Higher Education ecosystem you work in. I don’t see much to argue with in either set of comments and Harman is right – we should aspire to knowledge being as available as possible. As an editor of Politics we have been keen to have a rolling set of our articles available outside the paywall for a limited period of time in recognition that this broadens the potential audience.

The exchange prompted me to finally jot down some things that I have been meaning to note about open access publishing. In short, I think there are some bits missing from the present discussion. (more…)

The Future of Academic Journals in a Digital Age*

Wednesday, December 2nd, 2009
Dinosaur

Over the past few months I have been part of an ad hoc working group with colleagues from Newcastle and Durham Universities that has been exploring the future of academic publishing. Two problematics framed our analysis: how are changes initiated by the digital economy affecting academic journals and how might the editorial team of a top flight journal in the social sciences respond to these challenges? As previously posted–here and here–our initial conclusions have been that current models of academic journal publishing that rely on limiting access to research through pay-walls are no longer sustainable.
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