Open Access News

News from the open access movement

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

OA panel at Copyright Utopia

MollyK has blogged some notes on the Open Access Panel at Copyright Utopia: Alternative Visions, Methods and Policies (Adelphi, Maryland, May 21-23, 2007). 

Closed is Not Necessarily the Opposite of Open: Open Access Initiatives
Paul Jaeger (moderator), Ann Bartow, Brian Crawford, Heather Joseph, Denise Troll Covey

This session was remarkably hostile, and unfortunately given the complexity of the topic, did little to clarify the issue at hand: Open Access and its potential for radical (and in my opinion, greatly needed) change in the scholarly communications arena. While I don't claim to be an OA expert, I do feel that I have a solid understanding of the principles and issues, and this session made me anxious and frustrated as I realized that people without my background were undoubtedly more confused afterward than before we even began. Despite Heather Joseph's "modern interpretive copyright dance", the session was truly characterized by the following phrases (supplied by panelists, not audience): "pit bull", "fired up", drank a bottle of Tabasco". Nevertheless, there were good points made, which I share below.

  • faculty are more concerned with what their peers are doing with OA journals, not about the dysfunction in scholarly communications or serials pricing
  • if everyone waits to see what their peers do (chicken & egg issue), then nothing will change!
  • to get faculty to go green, must understand current culture in order to change it
  • advancement & stature in field are key issues for faculty, not public access; faculty don't understand that there is an access issue...until you cancel journals
  • if ILL changes to strict document delivery (current section 108 review) then faculty will likely become interested in publicly accessible materials
  • lobby for OA resolution to be adopted by Faculty Senate
  • publishing agreements are contracts, and contracts are negotiable
  • what is in it for individual researchers? what are the carrots?
  • only through use of research findings by others is research impact maximized