Measurement of Open Access as an Infrastructural Challenge

Author : Pekka Olsbo

Finland has set numeric goals for the development of open access. However, at the moment, no system is available by which this development could be monitored. Poor quality in the metadata records in universities’ research information databases prevents metadata-based analysis of open access publishing progress.

This paper shows how the quality problems of Finnish publication data can be resolved through centralizing the services and processes of metadata creation and by improving the interoperability of systems involved in the processes.

As a result, this study describes an environment where reliable measurement of open access is possible and presents suggested actions for improving the Finnish publication data collection.

URL : Measurement of Open Access as an Infrastructural Challenge


Brexit – and its potential impact for open access in the UK

Author : Paul Ayris

This article looks at the possible implications of Brexit for approaches to open access (OA) in the UK. It begins by sketching current issues in Brexit debates at the end of 2016 as the context into which discussions about open access are then placed.

Issues in four thematic areas are analysed: OA policies and mandates, EU copyright reform, new OA publishing models and open science. The level of dependence in the UK on European developments is assessed in each case and its contribution to Brexit issues identified.

The paper concludes that Brexit presents not only challenges, but also opportunities which the UK could seize. In open access, the UK is already playing a leadership role. In areas of open science, particularly in relation to the European Open Science Cloud, it is the European Commission which is asserting leadership. The UK needs to consolidate its current activity and ensure that, whatever the nature of Brexit arrangements, its freedom does not lead to isolation.

URL : Brexit – and its potential impact for open access in the UK


Une brève histoire d’Okina

Auteurs/Authors : Stéphanie Bouvier, Daniel Bourrion

Ouverte à sa communauté en février 2015, Okina, l’archive ouverte institutionnelle de l’Université d’Angers, a été développée au sein d’un projet global autour de l’Open Access.

Les lignes qui suivent retracent l’histoire de cette archive et la manière dont Okina est née puis a été portée politiquement. Elles se penchent également sur les choix techniques comme stratégiques ou humains effectués le long du chemin, qui ont permis que de vagues idées se concrétisent dans un objet fonctionnel né de (presque) rien.


Open Access Policies and Academic Freedom: Understanding and Addressing Conflicts

Author : David James Johnston

The adoption of open access (OA) policies that require participation rather than request it is often accompanied by concerns about whether such mandates violate researchers’ academic freedoms.

This issue has not been well explored, particularly in the Canadian context. However the recent adoption of an OA policy from Canada’s major funding agencies and the development of the Fair access to Science and Technology Research Act (FASTR) in the United States has made addressing the issue of academic freedom and OA policies an important issue in academic institutions.

This paper will investigate the relationship between OA mandates and academic freedom with the context of the recent OA policy at the University of Windsor as a point of reference.

While this investigation concludes that adopting OA policies that require faculty participation at the institutional level should not be an issue of academic freedom, it is important to understand the varied factors that contribute to this tension.

This includes misunderstandings about journal based (gold) and repository based (green) OA, growing discontent about increased managerialism in universities and commercialization of research, as well as potential vagueness within collective agreements’ language regarding academic freedom and publication.

Despite these potential roadblocks, a case can be made that OA policies are not in conflict with academic freedom given they do not produce the harms that academic freedom is intended to protect.

URL : Open Access Policies and Academic Freedom: Understanding and Addressing Conflicts

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Who support open access publishing? Gender, discipline, seniority and other factors associated with academics’ OA practice

Author : Yimei Zhu

This paper presents the findings from a survey study of UK academics and their publishing behaviour. The aim of this study is to investigate academics’ attitudes towards and practice of open access (OA) publishing.

The results are based on a survey study of academics at 12 Russell Group universities, and reflect responses from over 1800 researchers. This study found that whilst most academics support the principle of making knowledge freely available to everyone, the use of OA publishing among UK academics was still limited despite relevant established OA policies.

The results suggest that there were differences in the extent of OA practice between different universities, academic disciplines, age and seniorities. Academics’ use in OA publishing was also related to their awareness of OA policy and OA repositories, their attitudes towards the importance of OA publishing and their belief in OA citation advantage.

The implications of these findings are relevant to the development of strategies for the implementation of OA policies.

URL : Who support open access publishing? Gender, discipline, seniority and other factors associated with academics’ OA practice

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A Resonant Message: Aligning Scholar Values and Open Access Objectives in OA Policy Outreach to Faculty and Graduate Students

Author : Jane Johnson Otto


Faculty contribution to the institutional repository is a major limiting factor in the successful provision of open access to scholarship, and thus to the advancement of research productivity and progress.

Many have alluded to outreach messages through studies examining faculty concerns that underlie their reluctance to contribute, but specific open access messages demonstrated to resonate most with faculty have not been discussed with sufficient granularity.

Indeed, many faculty benefits and concerns are likely either unknown to the faculty themselves, or unspoken, so the literature’s record of faculty benefits and perceptions of open access remains incomplete at best.


At Rutgers University, we have developed a targeted message that both addresses these unspoken/unknown concerns and benefits and speaks to the promise and inevitability of open access in a changing scholarly communication landscape.

This paper details that message and its rationale, based on a critical review of the literature currently informing outreach programs, in order to provoke further discussion of specific outreach messages and the principles underlying them.


A robust scholarly communication organization, open access policy advisory board, expanded outreach, and sustained momentum will be critical to ensuring success with measurable outcomes.

Metrics used to evaluate both OA policy implementation efforts and institutional repositories should be reevaluated in light of the governing objectives of open access outreach efforts and tools. It is hoped that a reassessment of the message and the metrics will better align both with the true promise and prerequisites of open access.

URL : A Resonant Message: Aligning Scholar Values and Open Access Objectives in OA Policy Outreach to Faculty and Graduate Students


Open supply? On the future of document supply in the world of open science

Author : Joachim Schöpfel


The purpose of this paper is to propose a personal viewpoint on the development of document supply in the context of the recent European Union (EU) decisions on open science.


The paper provides some elements to the usual questions of service development, about business, customers, added value, environment and objectives.


The EU goal for open science is 100 per cent available research results in 2020. To meet the challenge, document supply must change, include more and other content, serve different targets groups, apply innovative technology and provide knowledge. If not, document supply will become a marginalized library service.


Basically, open science is not library-friendly, and it does not offer a solution for the actual problems of document supply. But it may provide an opportunity for document supply to become a modern service able to deal with new forms of unequal access and digital divide.