Open Access Infrastructure in Greece: Current Status, Challenges and Perspectives

Authors : Aspasia Togia, Eleftheria Koseoglou, Sofia Zapounidou, Nikolaos Tsigilis

Open access (OA) is a global movement to make research results widely available by removing price and permission barriers. OA infrastructure is necessary for implementing open access and open science in any country.

The aim of the present paper is twofold: (i) to give a description of the Greek OA infrastructure with emphasis on academic repositories and OA journals, and (ii) to examined the OA availability of publications authored by Greek researchers and published in international journals.

Results indicated that Open access infrastructures in Greece have been steadily improving over the past years, with 28 out of 36 HEIs running their own IR and 116 OA journals being published.

The OA availability of the literature produced by Greek researchers is similar to that found in other studies and falls within the range that has been reported for European countries.

Although numbers seem rather satisfactory, there are a number of challenges that have to be addressed at both the infrastructural and the policy level, the most important being the implementation of national open policies and funders mandates.


Data Driving Sustainability—the African Open Science Platform Project

Authors : Ina Smith, Susan Veldsman

Exploitation of the digital revolution offers great potential for less affluent and least economically developed countries (LEDCs) and for the attainment of the UN Sustainable Development Goals.

However, LEDCs typically have poorly resourced national research systems. If they cannot participate in research based on big and open data, the gap could grow exponentially in coming years.

They will be unable to collect, store and share data, unable to participate in the global research enterprise, unable to contribute as full partners to global efforts on climate change, health care, and resource protection, and unable to fully benefit from such efforts, where global solutions will only be achieved if there is global participation.

Thus, both emerging and developed countries have a clear and direct interest in helping to fully mobilize LEDC science potential and thereby to contribute to achievement of the UN Sustainable Development Goals.

The initiative described here (African Open Science Platform or AOSP) is directed towards minimising a divide between emerging and developed countries in what is arguably the most important current opportunity to enhance the power and efficiency of the scientific enterprise and its contribution to societal benefit.


Whose Infrastructure? Towards Inclusive and Collaborative Knowledge Infrastructures in Open Science

Authors : Angela Okune, Rebecca Hillyer, Denisse Albornoz, Alejandro Posada, Leslie Chan

The current discourse around Open Science has tended to focus on the creation of new technological platforms and tools to facilitate sharing and reuse of a wide range of research outputs.

There is an assumption that once these new tools are in place, researchers—and at times, members of the general public—will be able to participate in the creation of scientific knowledge in more accessible and efficient ways.

While many of these new tools have indeed assisted in the ease of collaboration through online spaces and mechanisms, the narrowness of how infrastructure is imagined by open science practitioners tends to put the use of technology ahead of the issues that people are actually trying to solve and fails to acknowledge the systemic constraints that exist within and between some communities.

Drawing on an analytical framework grounded in Black feminist intersectionality (Noble 2016), this paper highlights the need for more inclusive knowledge infrastructures, particularly in the context of sustainable development. Three case studies from the Open and Collaborative Science in Development Network (OCSDNet), are outlined in order to illustrate the importance of moving beyond a definition of infrastructure as merely a technical or physical entity.

These cases, arising from research conducted in South Africa, Brazil, and the Caribbean, demonstrate how more sustainable and nuanced forms of collaboration and participation may be enabled through broader understandings of knowledge infrastructures.

This paper further argues that leveraging the feminist concept of intersectionality when conceptualizing the development of knowledge infrastructures could be one way to move from narrow assumptions about standardized knowledge “users” towards more inclusive reimaginings of how knowledges can be produced and shared via networked technologies.


The DOAJ Ambassador Programme: An Example Project for Promoting Cognitive Justice in the Global South

Authors : Tom Olyhoek, Barbara Porrett, Dominic Mitchell

Global scientific publishing, including open access publishing, is heavily biased towards journals and authors from the Global North. This has resulted in a knowledge gap between the South and the North. It has led to a situation where scientific knowledge from the Global South is very much underrepresented in the collective scientific output worldwide: a problem which has been described as cognitive injustice.

Unfortunately this situation is not helped by the fact that many questionable publishers are based in countries in the Global South. To address these issues the Directory of Open Access Journals (DOAJ) started an Ambassador programme in 2016 with the help of funding from the International Development Research Centre (IDRC Canada).

The main objective of the programme was to increase the number of quality open access journals published, and the quality of open access publishing, in the Global South.


The Public Knowledge Project: Reflections and Directions After Its First Two Decades

Authors : Juan Pablo Alperin, John Willinsky, Brian Owen, James MacGregor, Alec Smecher, Kevin Stranack

As the Public Knowledge Project (PKP) enters its third decade, it faces the responsibilities of supporting the more than 10,000 journals using its software and are dependent on PKP continuing to develop the code.

In the fall of 2017, PKP, with the support of the Arnold Foundation, contracted the consulting services of BlueSky to Blueprint, with its principal Nancy Maron embarking on an exploration of PKP’s standing and prospects among a sample of those in-volved in scholarly publishing, inclu-ding current, former, and potential users of its software (Maron 2018).

This paper presents BlueSky’s findings and PKP’s responses in what may serve as a lesson on the maturing of, and challenges faced by, an open source software project seeking to sustain in-creased global access to research and scholarship.


Inequality in Knowledge Production: The Integration of Academic Infrastructure by Big Publishers

Authors : Alejandro Posada, George Chen

This paper attempts to illustrate the implications of a simultaneous redirection of the big publishers’ business strategy towards open access business models and the acquisition of scholarly infrastructure utilizing the conceptual framework of rent-seeking theory.

To document such a transformation, we utilized financial databases to analyze the mergers and acquisitions of the top publicly traded academic publishers. We then performed a service analysis to situate the acquisitions of publishers within the knowledge and education life-cycles, illustrating what we term to be their vertical integration within their respective expansion target life-cycles.

Implications of higher education institutions’ increased dependency towards the companies and increased influence by the companies on the institution and individual researcher were noted from the vertical integration of products.

Said vertical integration is analyzed via a rent theory framework and described to be a form of rent-seeking complementary to the redirection of business strategies to open access. Finally, the vertical integration is noted to generate exclusionary effects upon researchers/institutions in the global south.


Framing Power: Tracing Key Discourses in Open Science Policies

Authors : Denisse Albornoz, Maggie Huang, Issra Martin, Maria Mateus, Aicha Touré, Leslie Chan

Given that “Open Science” is becoming a popular policy object around the world, this study sought to identify key narratives about Open Science in policy, and critically examine the extent to which they are sustaining or strengthening multi-layered domination and inequality schemes that pre-exist in scientific knowledge production.

To do so, we conducted a content analysis of Open Science policies stemming from Europe, North America, Latin America, Asia and Africa to understand which narratives about Open Science policies are produced, reproduced and by whom; and in turn, whose interests may be neglected in this process.

We found that Open Science policies, mostly stemming from Europe, frame “openness” as a vehicle to promote technological change as part of an inevitable and necessary cultural shift to modernity in scientific production.

The global reach of these narratives, and the technologies, standards and models these narratives sustain, are dictating modes of working and collaborating among those who can access them, and creating new categories of exclusion that invalidate knowledge that cannot meet this criteria, putting historically marginalized researchers and publics at further disadvantage.