Implementing Open Access Policy: First Case Studies

When implementing open access, policy pioneers and flagship institutions alike have faced considerable challenges in meeting their own aims and achieving a recognized success.

Legitimate authority, sufficient resources and the right timing are crucial, but the professionals charged with implementing policy typically still need several years to accomplish significant progress.

This study defines a methodological standard for evaluating the first generation of open access policies. Evaluating implementation establishes evidence, enables reflection, and may foster the emergence of a second generation of open access policies.

While the study is based on a small number of cases, these case studies cover most of the pioneer institutions, present the most significant issues and offer an international overview.

Each case is reconstructed individually on the basis of public documents and background information, and supported by interviews with professionals responsible for open access implementation.

This article presents the highlights from each case study. The results are utilized to indicate how a second generation of policies might define open access as a key component of digital research infrastructures that provide inputs and outputs for research, teaching and learning in real time.