Wednesday, 24 October 2012

Happy Open Access Week!

From "Open Access Week Preview," Information Today, October 15, 2012
Organizations around the world are gearing up to celebrate Open Access Week, officially held Oct. 22–28, 2012. For most institutions, Open Access Week is a way to increase the visibility of open access among scientists, researchers, librarians, university faculty members, and students. At the same time, it also provides opportunities for open access practitioners to exchange knowledge and share ideas. Open access means free, unrestricted access to and reuse rights for scholarly research, either through publication in open access journals or by posting copies of the peer-reviewed version of articles into open access repositories. This year’s theme for the week is Set the Default to Open Access, intending to make open access the norm in journal publishing rather than the exception. An increasing number of libraries, publishers, research funding agencies, NGOs, and other organizations are hosting workshops, speeches, and other types of events; launching advocacy campaigns; kicking off new initiatives; and participating in ongoing shows of support.
It should go without saying that I am in support of Open Access (OA) efforts.  There is one aspect of how OA is currently being spoken of that bothers me however.  It seems like most of the conversation about OA in my experience, at least in terms of viability and sustainability is how it will be paid for, and although I don't know the actual breakdown, it seems like most full or partial OA journals are funded by author (or author-related institution) paid fees.  IMHO, this is neither effective (leading to some unsavoury publishing efforts or putting up a barrier to new authors) nor necessary.  Just like much of academia, the funds required to get things done are paid indirectly:  people volunteering time, expertise or resources, or institutional support.

Enough of my complaining though...  Happy Open Access Week!  Spread the word and support OA yourself!

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