[Humanist] 26.903 open access

Humanist Discussion Group willard.mccarty at mccarty.org.uk
Sat Mar 23 08:39:10 CET 2013

                 Humanist Discussion Group, Vol. 26, No. 903.
            Department of Digital Humanities, King's College London
                Submit to: humanist at lists.digitalhumanities.org

        Date: Fri, 22 Mar 2013 14:50:45 +0000
        From: "James O'Sullivan" <josullivan.c at gmail.com>
        Subject: Re:  26.899 open access?
        In-Reply-To: <20130322061922.817272CCB at digitalhumanities.org>

I fully support initiatives that promote open access, and have myself
released a number of open source projects (OpenDAHT.org, JDCES.org,
DigitalPoe.org etc etc etc). And of course I have signed this petition.

The problem to my mind, however, is that open access and open source are
fine in theory, but the fact is that many people only throw the terms
around without actually following up with appropriate actions. People like
to put themselves forward as being disciples of an open access philosophy,
but they tend not follow this up. This stems, I think, from a number of

1. Many people who champion open access have not actually had something to
release as open access. It's all well and good to state that you would make
your intellectual property open access, but when a scholarly pursuit /
project / development does come to fruition, many people, unfortunately,
change their mind on open access when faced with the actual products of
their labours. Excuse the poor analogy, but it reminds me of Lord of the
Rings. After the arduous journey, lots of people do eventually conclude:
"It's mine, why shouldn't I hold onto it?"

2. Academic culture is not conducive to open access. I've had papers
accepted to peer-reviewed journals that are not open access. What do I do?
I'm a PhD candidate, and if I am to have any sort of a career as a scholar
going forward, I need to build up some publications in the well-respected
journals in my field - such publications are the currency of our
profession. So when I get offered publication, how can I turn it down? A
few years from now I doubt that any interview panel would look favourably
upon my lack of representation in these journals. They may well be
impressed by the fact that I took a stand in the name of open access, but
they are unlikely to hire me.

3. Wider cultural forces also play their part -- commerce particularly.
Whatever about knowledge creation, development can be an expensive
business. My research is generously supported by the HEA, and I have a lot
of institutional support, and therefore, yes, any knowledge that I create,
indeed my thesis, by right should belong to the public. However, I have a
number of ongoing scholarly projects that fall outside my core PhD
research, and thus do not enjoy institutional support of a financial
nature. I am funding these myself (not ideal when your income is a PhD
stipend), and while I have managed to keep them all open access thus far,
it is expensive to do so, almost prohibitively so. Hybrid models have their
limitations, and for many people, open access simply isn't feasible from an
economic sense. I may want to give something away for free, but the tools
and resources required for production need to be free as well, and they
aren't, not by any means.

Saying this, if we are to change things then we need to start somewhere, so
it's great to see new initiatives of this nature. You have my support!

On Fri, Mar 22, 2013 at 6:19 AM, Humanist Discussion Group <
willard.mccarty at mccarty.org.uk> wrote:

>                  Humanist Discussion Group, Vol. 26, No. 899.
>             Department of Digital Humanities, King's College London
>                        www.digitalhumanities.org/humanist
>                 Submit to: humanist at lists.digitalhumanities.org
>         Date: Thu, 21 Mar 2013 07:51:27 +0100
>         From: Marin Dacos <marin.dacos at openedition.org>
>         Subject: Who is afraid of open access ?
> Dear colleagues,
> The French newspaper Le Monde has published a public statement, signed by
> sixty members of the academic community (Presidents of universities,
> Librarians, Journals, publishers and researchers) under the title "Who is
> afraid of open access ?". The original paper is here :
> http://www.lemonde.fr/sciences/article/2013/03/15/qui-a-peur-de-l-open-acces_1848930_1650684.html
> More than 1500 people already signed this statement, calling for open
> access as fast as possible and asking for HSS taking leadership in this
> direction. It is now available in English :
> http://iloveopenaccess.org/arguments-for-open-access/
> You can sign it : http://iloveopenaccess.org/?page_id=329
> Best regards,
> Marin Dacos
> Director - OpenEdition
> Arguments for Open Access to Research Results
> *This text was first published on 15 March 2013 in Le
> Monde<
> http://www.lemonde.fr/sciences/article/2013/03/15/qui-a-peur-de-l-open-acces_1848930_1650684.html
> >
> by sixty professionals belonging to the community of higher education and
> research: university presidents, directors of several Maisons des Sciences
> de l’Homme, publishers, representatives of journals, representatives of
> university libraries, professors and researchers. The call is open to
> everyone: engineers, scholars, students, information professionals,
> librarians, journalists, etc.*
> In July 2012, the European Commission issued a
> recommendation <
> http://ec.europa.eu/research/science-society/document_library/pdf_06/era-communication-towards-better-access-to-scientific-information_fr.pdf
> >
> on Open Access (i.e. free for the readers) publication of the results of
> publicly funded scientific research. The Commission believes that such a
> measure is necessary to increase the visibility of European research before
> 2020, by gradually suppressing the barriers between readers and scientific
> papers, after a possible embargo period from six to twelve months. Latin
> America has been benefiting from this approach for ten years after the
> development of powerful platforms for Open Access journals. Scielo and
> Redalyc, which together host almost 2000 journals, have considerably
> increased their visibility thanks to their Open Access policy: the
> Brazilian portalScielo  http://www.scielo.org/  now has more traffic than
> the US-based JSTOR  http://www.jstor.org/ . Such examples show that Open
> Access changes the balance of power in a world dominated by groups which
> hold thousands of (mostly English-language) journals: it paves the way to
> what could be called a real “bibliodiversity”, since it enables the
> emergence of a plurality of viewpoints, modes of publication, scientific
> paradigms, and languages.
> Some French editors of journals in the Humanities and Social Sciences (HSS)
> have expressed their concern with regard to this recommendation, which they
> saw as a threat to a vulnerable business model. However, a thorough
> assessment of the sector would be required to provide a true cost-benefit
> analysis: one should shed light on its funding sources and modes, both
> direct and indirect, public and private, and determine the roles the
> various actors play in this field, pinpointing the added value brought
> about by each of them.
> To be afraid of Open Access is, in our eyes, to commit oneself to a narrow
> – and in fact erroneous – vision of the future. If the HSS were set aside
> in a specific “reservation” today, they would become isolated and would
> ultimately become extinct. On the contrary, we think that the HSS can be at
> the forefront of this opening movement, precisely because there is an
> increasing social demand for their research results (we estimate the
> overall traffic on Cairn, OpenEdition, Erudit and Persée to be around 10
> million visits per month!). The fears voiced by our friends and colleagues
> are largely groundless in this respect. Not only is the share of sales made
> outside of higher education and research institutions very small in the
> business models of HSS journals, which remain mostly directly or indirectly
> funded by public money, but there exist new business models capable of
> reinforcing the position of publishers without having the authors pay, as
> is demonstrated by the success of the Freemium programme developed by
> OpenEdition, a French initiative. Solutions to finance a high-quality open
> digital publication system are being invented and have started to prove
> their efficiency  http://www.doaj.org/ , as in the cases of
> Scielo http://www.scielo.org/ ,
> the Public Library of Science (PLOS  http://www.plos.org/ ),
> Redalyc http://redalyc.uaemex.mx/
>  or OpenEdition  http://www.openedition.org/ . It would be a disaster if
> the HSS were kept aside from this powerful and innovative movement which is
> bound to reshape our scientific landscape. Far from backing off, they must
> be among the leading disciplines in this movement, as they are in the
> Spanish- and Portuguese-speaking countries. The resistance to this
> evolution advocated by some of our colleagues seems to be a short-term
> strategy neglecting the potential benefits for science and education, as
> well as the democratisation of access to knowledge it will enable.
> According to us, this is not only an economic and commercial problem.
> Although the existence of an Elsevier-Springer-Wiley
> oligopoly<
> http://www.lemonde.fr/sciences/article/2013/02/28/a-qui-appartient-le-savoir_1840797_1650684.html
> >
> exerts heavy pressure on university budgets and although the funding
> system of
> academic publishing should be rethought, generalised Open Access is first
> and foremost a matter of scientific policy<
> http://couperin.sciencesconf.org/>.
> Knowledge cannot be treated as a commodity and its dissemination is more
> than ever a vital concern in our societies: we can work towards a
> revolutionary democratisation of access to research results. Knowledge
> behind barriers, which only the happy few working in the richest
> universities can access, is barren knowledge. It is confiscated, though
> produced thanks to public funding. In this debate, higher education and
> research institutions have akey role to
> play<
> http://alasource.blog.lemonde.fr/2013/03/01/a-qui-appartient-le-savoir-la-version-longue/
> >.
> The diffusion of knowledge and research results, their spreading among an
> audience as large as possible, is one of the missions of these
> institutions. Therefore a relevant scientific policy has to build public
> digital infrastructures, but  also needs to support innovative publishing
> policies aimed at fostering cross-disciplinary exchanges, new forms of
> writing, multilingualism and the broadest diffusion.
> Who is afraid of Open Access? Private access policies hinder the
> dissemination of ideas and is ill-suited to the new paradigms introduced by
> digital media. It is high time that we considered the Web as a unique
> opportunity in terms of innovation, the diffusion of knowledge and the
> emergence of new ideas.
> We are not afraid of Open Access. To take knowledge out of silos and beyond
> the boundaries of academic campuses is to open knowledge to everyone,
> acknowledge that it has a pivotal role to play in our societies and open up
> perspectives for collective growth.
> Do not be afraid of Open Access! It is now possible to establish a new
> scientific, publishing and business contract between researchers,
> publishers, libraries and readers in order to enter for good a society of
> shared, democratic knowledge.
> *Sign it!*  http://iloveopenaccess.org/sign-it/
> --
> Marin Dacos - http://www.openedition.org
> Director - Centre for Open Electronic Publishing
> ** OpenEdition is now a Facility of
> Excellence http://www.openedition.org/10221?lang=en
> * *(Equipex) **
> ** New email : marin.dacos at openedition.org **
> CNRS - EHESS - Aix-Marseille Université (AMU) - Université d'Avignon
> 3, place Victor Hugo, Case n°86, 13331 Marseille Cedex 3 - France
> Tél : 04 13 55 03 40 Tél. direct : 04 13 55 03 39 Fax : 04 13 55 03 41
> Skype : marin.dacos - Gmail video chat : marin.dacos at gmail.com
> Twitter : http://twitter.com/#!/marindacos
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*James O'Sullivan *
@jamescosullivan  http://twitter.com/jamescosullivan **
Web: josullivan.org

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