Open Access News

News from the open access movement

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Podcast of opinion on OA publishing

Arunn Narasimhan, Open Access Publishing Podcast, Unruled Notebook blog, February 10, 2008. A 17-minute audio recording of comments on OA publishing, with transcript. Excerpt:

... As a researcher, I do all the hard work, think of an idea, find the research methods and tools, find the funding if necessary to accomplish certain tasks to realize the idea and see its merit, write the results using the idea and analyze the pros and cons of the idea and send that research article usually to a research journal office comprising of other researchers. The subsequent peer review process that qualifies my idea for its worthiness as original useful scientific knowledge is done by these academics and researchers mostly for no fee. It is a service they all must perform because it will be reciprocated in kind and quality by other researchers in the community to uplift their research work. Strict but free of money.

In this reasonably democratic process of scientific knowledge generation, where is money and cost and profit involved? Only in the actual publishing of the journal? Then why can't that be supported by one of the many democratic ways possible? ...

There are other angles in which open access can be seen as the only correct way to do report research at least in the future.

I am a faculty selected and appointed by a selection committee that includes experts nominated in principle by the President of India. I work in an educational institute of India funded by the Indian government. In short, I am a government employee earning my salary from tax payers money. ...

What about my indirect responsibility to those tax payers? If one such informed tax payer wants access to my research, want to know how his money is spent by the government on me, should I not oblige? Why should I do my research using tax payers money given to me through an academic or government sponsored research grant but publish it in journals controlled by middleman who control the access of such information for their own ends? I think the public of a country has a right to have access to the research content that their tax money funded.