The first ever Open Access day will be October 14th.
Peter Suber, a Senior Researcher at the Scholarly Publishing & Academic Resources Coalition (SPARC,) defines Open Access literature thusly:
“Open-access (OA) literature is digital, online, free of charge, and free of most copyright and licensing restrictions.”
Bo-Christer Björk and others estimate in a recent published conference report that 19.4% of scholarly literature published in serial format in 2006 is accessible in some form of Open Access.
Open Access to scholarly literature is refreshing in light of 20 years of serials price inflation that is now well over three times that of the consumer price index and more than twice that of the higher education price index since 1984. Locally, Colgate was forced to cancel over $200,000 dollars worth of journal subscriptions two years ago because of extreme serials price inflation. The situation serves as an impetus to move toward more Open Access publishing.
Many scholars and researchers use public funding to do research. In numerous instances they then have to pay to get their work published. Afterwards, researchers and/or their institutions pay again to gain access to that research. The value publishers add, and the compensation they receive for added value, are being questioned, and rightly so.
This is largely why publishers of scholarly literature are lobbying lawmakers hard to pass legislation that would undue the recently passed NIH Public Access Policy that requires investigators who receive NIH funding to “submit or have submitted for them to the National Library of Medicine’s PubMed Central an electronic version of their final, peer-reviewed manuscripts upon acceptance for publication, to be made publicly available no later than 12 months after the official date of publication.”
New information technologies are challenging old publishing business models. Currently mainstay publishers are attempting to change laws to protect their habits rather than investigate new business models.
Open Access publishing offers a viable and attractive alternative to high priced publishing. Indeed, studies suggest that papers published in Open Access journals often have greater impact on successive research and publishing then those published through traditional means. Publishers know that there are successful alternatives to traditional publishing models, hence their efforts to legally limit Open Access publishing. As members of the higher education community, you should be informed of events, developments and changes occurring in the world of scholarly publishing.
We’re a bit late for formal celebrations of Open Access day. However, you can take part by spending a few minutes learning more about Open Access and the issues involved by visiting and reading the resources listed below.
Open Access Day
Scholarly Publishing & Academic Resources Coalition
students for free culture