Open Access News

News from the open access movement

Thursday, August 09, 2007

The politics of OA policy

David C. Prosser, Public Policy and the Politics of Open Access, 2007.  Apparently a preprint.  Self-archived August 8, 2007.

Abstract:   In the five years since the launch of the Budapest Open Access Initiative in February 2002, one of the most striking developments in the scholarly communications landscape has been the increasing interest taken in open access at a policy level. Today, open access (in the form of both self-archiving and open access journals) is routinely discussed and debated at an institutional-level, within research-funding bodies, nationally, and internationally. The debate has moved out of the library and publisher communities to take a more central place in discussions on the ‘knowledge economy’, return on investment in research, and the nature of e-science. This paper looks at some of the public policy drivers that are impacting on scholarly communications and describes the major policy initiatives that are supporting a move to open access.

From the body of the paper:

Our community has two important roles to play in ensuring that research outputs are made available to all. The first is to engage with policy makers at all levels to encourage mandates and strong open access policies. This means not just within our own institutions, but with the funding bodies and at the political level, both nationally and internationally (especially at the European Union level – please write to your local member of the European Parliament explaining why open access is an important issue). We need to continue to show wide support for open access so please do sign the open access petition and encourage others at your institution to do as well.

Secondly, we need to continue to build and support excellent open access resources. Implement a repository at your own institution, help researchers who wish to launch a new open access journal, support the Directory of Open Access Journals by taking out a membership, etc. The combination of mandates and excellent open access platforms and resources will help to create a new scholarly communications environment in which all have access to the fruits of publicly-funded research and we can bring all of the world’s brains to bear on the pressing research problems we face today – not just those lucky enough to be at institutions who can afford subscriptions.