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Saturday, June 03, 2006

Making the case for OA to national policy-makers

Jennifer A. De Beer, Making the innovation case in Open Access scholarly communication, a presentation delivered at CERN workshop on Innovations in Scholarly Communication (Geneva, October 20-22, 2005). Self-archived June 1, 2006.
Abstract: It seems almost unnecessary to have to elaborate additional reasons for the adoption of Open Access scholarly communication (OA sc) as manifested through Open Access journals and self-archiving practices. To those active within the OA arena, the case has been convincingly made, and current arguments merely need to be disseminated beyond the Library and Information Science (LIS) sphere. However, it is my contention that a convincing argument for OA sc needs to be launched from the Science Policy perspective if any government mandated pro-OA policy changes are to be effected. This paper, then, is an attempt at taking the OA discussion beyond the LIS arena and into the realm of Science and Innovation Policy. Using Innovation Theory as its theoretical framework, it is argued that Open Access scholarly communication can only serve to bolster Innovation Systems, be they national, regional, or sectoral. The case of South Africa is taken as an illustrative example, though the case can and will be generalised to beyond the South African science system. Making the case for OA within the context of Innovation is also of strategic import, since government policymakers frequently heed the advice of Science- and Innovation Policy researchers.