The academic, economic and societal impacts of Open Access: an evidence-based review

Ongoing debates surrounding Open Access to the scholarly literature are multifaceted and complicated by disparate and often polarised viewpoints from engaged stakeholders. At the current stage, Open Access has become such a global issue that it is critical for all involved in scholarly publishing, including policymakers, publishers, research funders, governments, learned societies, librarians, and academic communities, to be well-informed on the history, benefits, and pitfalls of Open Access.

In spite of this, there is a general lack of consensus regarding the advantages or disadvantages of Open Access at multiple levels. This review aims to to be a resource for current knowledge on the impacts of Open Access by synthesizing important research in three major areas of impact: academic, economic and societal.

While there is clearly much scope for additional research, several key trends are identified, including a broad citation advantage for researchers who publish openly, as well as additional benefits to the non-academic dissemination of their work.

The economic case for Open Access is less well-understood, although it is clear that access to the research literature is key for innovative enterprises, and a range of governmental and non-governmental services.

Furthermore, Open Access has the potential to save publishers and research funders considerable amounts of financial resources. The social case for Open Access is strong, in particular for advancing citizen science initiatives, and leveling the playing field for researchers in developing countries.

Open Access supersedes all potential alternative modes of access to the scholarly literature through enabling unrestricted re-use, and long-term stability independent of financial constraints of traditional publishers that impede knowledge sharing.

Open Access remains only one of the multiple challenges that the scholarly publishing system is currently facing. Yet, it provides one foundation for increasing engagement with researchers regarding ethical standards of publishing.

We recommend that Open Access supporters focus their efforts on working to establish viable new models and systems of scholarly communication, rather than trying to undermine the existing ones as part of the natural evolution of the scholarly ecosystem. Based on this, future research should investigate the wider impacts of an ecosystem-wide transformation to a system of Open Research.

URL : The academic, economic and societal impacts of Open Access: an evidence-based review

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Archives Ouvertes de la Connaissance. Valoriser et diffuser les données de recherche

Projet commun de l’Université de Strasbourg, l’Université de Haute-Alsace, l’Institut National des Sciences Appliquées (INSA) et la Bibliothèque Nationale et Universitaire (BNU) de Strasbourg, les Archives Ouvertes de la Connaissance offriront aux (enseignants)-chercheurs et doctorants un service pour la valorisation de leurs données de recherche.

Ce mémoire propose, dans un premier temps, de replacer le projet dans le contexte des archives institutionnelles françaises et européennes, afin d’en dégager les spécificités ; dans un second temps, sont présentés les enjeux et les modalités de mise en forme et de diffusion des données de recherche, que produisent les établissements alsaciens partenaires et qui seront liées à l’archive ouverte.


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Open Access Temptations: Buyer Beware

Backlash against « megapublishers” which began in mathematics a decade ago has led to an exponential growth in open access journals. Their increasing numbers and popularity notwithstanding, there is evidence that not all open access journals are legitimate.

The nature of the « gold open access » business model and increasing prevalence of « publish or perish » culture in academia has given rise to a dark underbelly in the world of scientific publishing which feeds off academics’ professional needs.

Many such « predatory publishers » and journals not only seem to originate out of India but also seem to have been patronized by academics in the country. This article is a cautionary note to early-career academics and administrators in India to be wary of this « wild west » of the internet and exercise due discretion when considering/ evaluating open-access journals for scholarly contributions.


Democratic Potential of New Models of Scholarship and the Crisis of Control

This paper frames the serials crisis as a loss of control over libraries’ collections and development budgets. While libraries have always had to contend with budget constraints, for many the rising cost of serials has become prohibitive, impeding on scholarship itself as librarians are forced to cut journal subscriptions.

Open Access (OA) journals hold the potential to partially alleviate the crisis, but a lasting solution might lie in altering expectations of scholars. Our critique of the dissemination of scholarly research looks to both Marxian economic theory and later critical theory, but finds both inadequate for a pragmatic solution to the crisis; instead, we adopt Deweyan democratic theory to argue in favour of public scholarship aided by librarians and vetted by scholarly societies.

URL : Democratic Potential of New Models of Scholarship and the Crisis of Control

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Availability of Open Access Books in DOAB: An Analytical Study

This paper discusses the availability of open access books which are available in the Directory of Open Access Books (DOAB). The relevant data has been collected from the open access directory from on 25 October 2015.

Among the 3379 books, 1584 (46.88 %) books are published in English which includes 445 books which have no licenses, 83 books have CC BY; 153 books have CC-BY-NC; 814 books have CC-BY-NC-ND; 36 books have CC-BY-NC-SA; 24 books have CC-BY-ND and 29 books have CC-BY-SA licenses.

It is found that 21 books have not mentioned its authors in the directory.

URL : Availability of Open Access Books in DOAB: An Analytical Study

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Open access en bibliothèque universitaire : de nouveaux enjeux de médiations

En partant d’une expérience concrète de mobilisation dans le cadre de l’Open Access Week au sein du Service Commun de la Documentation de l’Université Bordeaux Montaigne, nous nous interrogerons sur la place des professionnels de l’information face aux enjeux de la documentation en libre accès et du mouvement de l’Open Access.

Les bibliothèques universitaires doivent-elles se positionner dans ces débats qui agitent le monde universitaire ? Pourquoi et comment le faire ?


Open Access, Open Science, Open Society

Open Access’ main goal is not the subversion of publishers’ role as driving actors in an oligopolistic market characterised by reduced competition and higher prices. OA’s main function is to be found somewhere else, namely in the ability to subvert the power to control science’s governance and its future directions (Open Science), a power that is more often found within the academic institutions rather than outside.

By decentralising and opening-up not just the way in which scholarship is published but also the way in which it is assessed, OA removes the barriers that helped turn science into an intellectual oligopoly even before an economic one. The goal of this paper is to demonstrate that Open Access is a key enabler of Open Science, which in turn will lead to a more Open Society.

Furthermore, the paper argues that while legislative interventions play an important role in the top-down regulation of Open Access, legislators currently lack an informed and systematic vision on the role of Open Access in science and society. In this historical phase, other complementary forms of intervention (bottom-up) appear much more “informed” and effective.

This paper, which intends to set the stage for future research, identifies a few pieces of the puzzle: the relationship between formal and informal norms in the field of Open Science and how these impact on intellectual property rights, the protection of personal data, the assessment of science and the technology employed for the communication of science.