Who needs access to research? Exploring the societal impact of open access

Author : ElHassan ElSabry

Studies about open access (OA) have predominantly focused it impact on communication within the scholarly community. For example, many studies have been published on what is called the “Open Access Citation Advantage (OACA)”.

On the other hand, implications of OA in non-academic contexts (e.g. medical practice, policymaking, patient advocacy and citizen science) have been the subject of and the basis for a lot of the advocacy work and many funding agencies’ OA policies, but not so much the subject of original research studies.

To date, this study is the first attempt to collect and synthesize the available evidence on the societal impact of open access. It further builds on this evidence base by introducing a typology of the various science-society interfaces where demand for access to research potentially exists.

The proposed scheme is anticipated to provide guidance for future research on the issue of OA’s societal impact. The paper concludes with a discussion of the implications of non-academic usage of research on the open access debate, especially on the question of who should bear the cost of scholarly publishing.

URL : https://rfsic.revues.org/3271

Claims About Benefits of Open Access to Society (Beyond Academia)

Author : ElHassan ElSabry

This study tries to systematically identify claims about societal benefits of Open Access by analyzing different documents written by Open Access supporters. Three types of documents are used: key declarations and statements in support of Open Access, Open Access policies issued by public funding agencies and journal editorials announcing the adoption of Open Access.

Analysis shows these three types emphasize different benefits for Open Access as they address different audience. There is strong support of the idea that Open Access has benefits to different groups of people outside side the university/credentialed research institutes.

It is not clear how much evidence is available to support these claims, but identifying them would suggest new stakeholders to involve in the conversation and perhaps also inform the ongoing debate about who should bear the cost of Open Access.

URL : Claims About Benefits of Open Access to Society (Beyond Academia)

Alternative location : http://ebooks.iospress.nl/publication/46640