26 September 2012

The open access spectrum

The open access movement has been growing for 10 years since Open Access was first clearly defined in 2002. There is now a range of methods for making scholarly publications free to readers, and there is debate on the precise elements that make research outputs truly 'open' for all types of reuse.

SPARC (the Scholarly Publishing and Academic Resources Coalition) has released a new guide called How Open Is It? which describes the components that make up open access and analyses where a journal lies on the open access spectrum. The guide lays out Reader rights, Reuse rights, Copyright, Author posting rights, Automatic posting and Machine readability in a simple matrix and aims to help authors make informed choices about where to publish.

How Open Is It? is published with a request for public comment.

Practical Guide

13 September 2012

Setting the default to open

New recommendations for open access policy have been released by the Budapest Open Access Initiative (BOAI).

An announcement from SPARC describes the guidelines that mark 10 years since the first clearly defined ideas about open access by BOAI.

BOAI 10"The Open Access recommendations include the development of Open Access policies in institutions of higher education and in funding agencies, the open licensing of scholarly works, the development of infrastructure such as Open Access repositories and creating standards of professional conduct for Open Access publishing. The recommendations also establish a new goal of achieving Open Access as the default method for distributing new peer-reviewed research in every field and in every country within ten years’ time." (Scholarly Publishing and Academic Resources Coalition)

The BOAI Recommendations for the next 10 years provide clear strategy for institutional, funder and publisher policy, guidance on licensing and infrastructure and advice on advocacy. The recommendations close with "truths about OA":
  • OA benefits research and researchers, and the lack of OA impedes them.
  • OA for publicly-funded research benefits taxpayers and increases the return on their investment in research. It has economic benefits as well as academic or scholarly benefits.
  • OA amplifies the social value of research, and OA policies amplify the social value of funding agencies and research institutions.
  • The costs of OA can be recovered without adding more money to the current system of scholarly communication.
  • OA is consistent with copyright law everywhere in the world, and gives both authors and readers more rights than they have under conventional publishing agreements.
  • OA is consistent with the highest standards of quality.
See also: Reflections on the BOAI-10 recommendations from Alma Swan (Key Perspectives Ltd & SPARC Europe), interviewed by Richard Poynder.

11 September 2012

Massive shift to open access for UK

July 16 was a big day for open access in the UK. The latest SPARC Open Access Newsletter (SOAN) by Peter Suber describes the 'tipping point' for the open access movement.

SPARC

SOAN #165 (Sep 2, 2012) gives a detailed analysis of 3 major announcements on 16 July 2012 from RCUK, HEFCE and the UK Minister for Universities and Science, including the potential consequences for journals and authors. The newsletter also covers the subsequent release of documents from the European Commission on OA policy. Taken together, these announcements appear to make the transition to open access for scholarly publishing innevitable - at least across Europe.

Discussions are now under way across institutions to decide how to manage the transition, including the costs involved and mechanisms for adapting to new business models from publishers. The UK government has recently announced additional funding for some universities, to 'kick-start' this process.

RCUK welcomes additional investment in Open Access