Confronting the Crisis in Scientific Publishing: Latency, Licensing and Access

The serials crisis in scientific publishing can be traced to the long duration of copyright protection and the assignment of copyright by researchers to publishers. Over-protection of scientific literature has enabled commercial publishers to increase subscription rates to a point at which access to scientific information has been curtailed with negative social welfare consequences. The uniformity costs imposed by such over-protection can be addressed by tailoring intellectual property rights, either through legal change or private ordering.

Current open access channels of distribution offer alternative approaches to scientific publishing, but neither the Green OA self-archiving nor the Gold OA author-pays models has yet achieved widespread acceptance. Moreover, recent proposals to abolish copyright protection for academic works, while theoretically attractive, may be difficult to implement in view of current legislative and judicial dispositions.

Likewise, funder open access mandates such as the NIH OA Policy, which are already responsible for the public release of millions of scientific articles, are susceptible to various risks and political uncertainty.

In this article, I propose an alternative private ordering solution based on latency values observed in open access stakeholder negotiation settings. Under this proposal, research institutions would collectively develop and adopt publication agreements that do not transfer copyright ownership to publishers, but instead grant publishers a one-year exclusive period in which to publish a work.

This limited period of exclusivity should enable the publisher to recoup its costs and a reasonable profit through subscription revenues, while restoring control of the article copyright to the author at the end of the exclusivity period. This balanced approach addresses the needs of both publishers and the scientific community, and would, I believe, avoid many of the challenges faced by existing open access models.


Access to Knowledge in India New Research on…

Access to Knowledge in India: New Research on Intellectual Property, Innovation & Development :

« This is the third volume in our Access to Knowledge series. India is a $1 trillion economy which nevertheless struggles with a very high poverty rate and very low access to knowledge for almost seventy percent of its population which lives in rural areas.

This volume features four parts on current issues facing intellectual property, development policy (especially rural development policy) and associated innovation, from the Indian perspective. Each chapter is authored by scholars taking an interdisciplinary approach and affiliated to Indian or American universities and Indian think-tanks. Each examines a policy area that significantly impacts access to knowledge. These include information and communications technology for development; the Indian digital divide; networking rural areas; copyright and comparative business models in music; free and open source software; patent reform and access to medicines; the role of the Indian government in promoting access to knowledge internationally and domestically. »


Digital Librarians and the Challenges of Open Access…

Digital Librarians and the Challenges of Open Access to Knowledge: The Michael Okpara University of Agriculture (MOUAU) Library Experience :

« The development of Internet technology has provided academic and research institutions with a very high level of visibility on the web. As a result, teaching, learning and research is widely improved in the global society today. The intellectual call for knowledge and information dissemination by countless organizations and educational meetings has given birth to a terminology called open access. This initiative is aimed at bringing the knowledge society to a state of free access to all kinds of information and learning material using the Internet and ICT tools. The library plays an important role in sustaining the open access initiative (Das, 2008). Librarians who ensure the organization and dissemination of full-text content of knowledge materials to online communities are the digital librarians. »


Evolution and Future of the Knowledge Commons Emerging…

Evolution and Future of the Knowledge Commons: Emerging Opportunities and Challenges for Less Developed Societies :

« This article addresses the emerging field of the knowledge commons in relation with the challenges of international development. It reviews the history of academic knowledge since the Enlightenment, its evolution and current trends, with the purpose of exploring the future of the knowledge commons. Assuming that knowledge is the most important resource in the twenty-first century, the intention of this article is mapping the conditions for taking advantage of this resource. Which are the barriers to access and use common pool of knowledge that is being generated currently? The supply and the demand sides of the knowledge sharing equation are reviewed to understand their particularities and trends. Particular attention is given to the demand side of this equation to identify the barriers that are preventing people from less developed countries taking full advantage of this fast growing resource. »


Making Intellectual Property Work for Global Health …

Making Intellectual Property Work for Global Health :

« Intellectual property rights (IPRs) are often conceived narrowly from the vantage point of offering incentives for private sector investment in research and development (R&D), but the legal regime of IPRs can also work to improve access to public goods for global health, particularly for those disadvantaged by destitution and disease. The WHO Global Strategy and Plan of Action on Public Health, Innovation and Intellectual Property (GSPOA), adopted by the World Health Assembly in 2008, calls for an “enhanced and sustainable basis for needs-driven, essential health research and development relevant to diseases that disproportionately affect developing countries.” How knowledge is generated, owned, and harnessed to support pro-poor development is at the heart of this effort. New approaches to tiering, pooling, and open-source collaboration have resulted from the struggle to deliver affordable treatments for AIDS and neglected diseases. In examining how intellectual property rights can most effectively and strategically support developing countries in implementing this ambitious and potentially catalytic agenda in enabling innovation for global health, this paper seeks to outline a coherent and strategic approach to address human development needs and to facilitate the harnessing of innovation and the sharing of knowledge for global health. »


New Zealand information on the Internet the Power…

New Zealand information on the Internet: the Power to Find the Knowledge :

« In a world of apparently ubiquitous information, does knowledge still equal power? Whatever the answer to this question, we will not have power unless we can retrieve our knowledge. Despite the advances of the last decades, issues remain in finding information on the Web relating to Aotearoa. These include: the efficiency with which the global search engines index the NZ web space, searching for macronised words, the quality of Wikipedia information about NZ, and the availability of open access NZ research. »


The Rise of the Knowledge Broker

Knowledge brokers are people or organizations that move knowledge around and create connections between researchers and their various audiences.

This commentary reviews some of the literature on knowledge brokering and lays out some thoughts on how to analyze and theorize this practice.

Discussing the invisibility and interstitiality of knowledge brokers, the author argues that social scientists need to analyze more thoroughly their practices, the brokering devices they use, and the benefits and drawbacks of their double peripherality.

The author also argues that knowledge brokers do not only move knowledge, but they also produce a new kind of knowledge: brokered knowledge. »