Open Access News

News from the open access movement

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Interview with OA conservation magazine

Daniel Cull, Exclusive: Interview with E-Conservation, Dan Cull Weblog, April 27, 2009. Interview with Rui Bordalo of e-conservation magazine.

... [Q:] The magazine has on several occasions discussed the practical side of open-access choices of distribution… at least once stating: “all we have to do is be willing to share and learn” ... [W]hat led you to this (creative commons/open access) in the first place?

To distribute the magazine in open access was our objective since the very beginning. We believe that it is the best way possible to truly achieve a significant worldwide readership through the internet, which on its turn would encourage the sharing of knowledge among professionals. We chose Creative Commons (CC) - Some Rights Reserved - as licence to freely disseminate the information but at the same time to safeguard both the rights of the authors and of the magazine. This way, authors not only are able to retain copyright of their work after publication but they can distribute or even republish their papers. Moreover, CC allows licensing the content alongside copyright, so authors can choose what terms best suit their needs. CC is truly the perfect tool to share culture in open access. Before we started with the magazine we have seen some examples of CC licensed works and we have consulted a lawyer to better understand what are the rules and risks of publishing, because our experience was limited to being authors but lacked the editorial perspective. We try to keep everything as simple as possible for our authors and minimise the submission bureaucracy as much as possible. Creative Commons helps a lot in this respect as well.

[Q:] In the editorial for issue 6 you stated: “conservators might soon face the problem that most of the specialised literature in our field is written by non-conservators. Thus, it is my belief that conservators need an attitude change towards publishing as sharing inside specialist knowledge is essential for our field.” Which I believe was a very astute observation, I was wondering whether you think that the tone taken in journals as they have increasingly published so called ‘hard-science’ papers has pushed alternative visions of what constitutes conservation, and conservation papers, out of the journals. I was wondering to what extent you saw e-conservation's style, approach, and content, as a means of redressing that balance? ...

... E-conservation’s purpose is to give an easier, open access to the very much needed information which is not easily accessible to conservators, and not to compete with the other publications available in the field. Except for some few national magazines of limited circulation, or international publications that one can only access by being member, there are really not many ways to be informed. ...

[Q:] What role do you think open-access/creative commons will have in the future of conservation publishing. Do you think the major organisations (ICON, AIC, IIC, ICCROM, etc) will take up this method of publishing; and are there any that have, that you are aware of?

I hope an important one. The publishing world has changed a lot in the last years and in fact, since we launched 2 years ago, we have seen other publications taking this lead. ... As for the non-periodical publications that are made available online by the major organisations, I think it is a great step forward towards sharing knowledge in open access in our field. AIC made an important step in 2001 when they made available the contents of JAIC on the internet but one can’t expect all other associations or institutions to make the same thing. In most associations you have to be a member to receive their publications and I doubt these could be distributed for free in the future since benefits justify membership rates, which help sustain the existence of the association. Concerning international institutes of reference, such as ICCROM, part of their publications are already available online in pdf format. The Getty has also had an admirable attitude in distributing online publications whose print editions were sold out. ...