Access to academic libraries: an indicator of openness?

Authors  : Chun-Kai (Karl) Huang, Lucy Montgomery, Cameron Neylon, Katie Wilson

Introduction

Open access to digital research output is increasing, but academic library policies can place restrictions on public access to libraries. This paper reports on a preliminary study to investigate the correlation between academic library access policies and institutional positions of openness to knowledge.

Method

This primarily qualitative study used document and data analysis to examine the content of library access/use policies of 12 academic institutions in eight countries. The outcomes were statistically correlated with institutional open access publication policies and practices.

Analysis

We used an automated search tool together with manual searching to retrieve web-based library access policies, then categorised and counted the levels and conditions of public access. We compared scores for institutional library access features, open access features and percentages of open access publications.

Results

Academic library policies may suggest open public access but multi-layered user categories, privileges and fees charged can inhibit access, with disparities in openness emerging between library policies and institutional open access policies.

Conclusion. As open access publishing options and mandates expand, physical entry and access to print and electronic resources in academic libraries is contracting. This conflicts with global library and information commitments to open access to knowledge.

DOI : https://hcommons.org/deposits/item/hc:21881/

Understanding Open Knowledge in China: A Chinese Approach to Openness?

Authors: Lucy Montgomery, Xiang Ren

This paper examines the development of open knowledge in China through two case studies: the development of Chinese open access (OA) journals, and national-level OA repositories.

Open access and open knowledge are emerging as a site of both grass-roots activism, and top-down intervention in the practices of scholarship and scholarly publishing in China. Although the language, vision and strategies of the global open knowledge movement are undoubtedly present, so too are the messy realities of open access and open knowledge innovation in a local context.

In attempting to position open access developments in China within a diverse and contested global landscape of open knowledge innovation we draw on Moore’s (2017) conception of open access as a boundary object: an object that is understood differently within individual communities but which maintains enough structure to be understood between communities (Moore 2017; Star and Griesemer 1989).

Viewed as a boundary object, the concept of open knowledge is making it possible for China to engage with the global open knowledge movement, as a beneficiary of the innovation of others, and as an open knowledge innovator in its own right.

URL : Understanding Open Knowledge in China: A Chinese Approach to Openness?

DOI : http://doi.org/10.5334/csci.106

The Visibility of Open Access Monographs in a European Context: A Report Prepared by Knowledge Unlatched Research

Authors : Lucy Montgomery, Cameron Neylon, Alkim Ozaygen, Frances Pinter, Neil Saunders

This report explores the extent to which Open Access (OA) specialist scholarly books can be seen by the communities that might make use of them. It also identifies the key challenges that will need to be tackled in order to ensure that OA books are fully integrated into digital landscapes of scholarship; as well as the steps that need to be taken to achieve this goal.

The report focuses on Open Access books made available by publishers and platforms that are part of the OPERAS network, which is focused on the development of European research infrastructure for the development of open scholarly communication.

Specialist scholarly books are the core research output of the Humanities and Social Sciences. Ensuring that they are integrated into digital landscapes of scholarship will play a decisive role in the future of these disciplines, and their impact on the world. Identifying gaps in existing infrastructure and creating a roadmap to address them is vital groundwork.

This report forms part of the OPERAS-D project, which focuses on the development of a European e-infrastructure for open access publications in the Humanities and Social Sciences. Knowledge Unlatched Research is a core partner in the OPERAS-D project.

KU Research is an independent research and analysis group focusing on strategy and analytics that support the ecosystem of scholarly monographs.

DOI : https://hcommons.org/deposits/item/hc:18269