Slides to prompt an Open access discussion

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These are slides taken from the Finch Report and the HEFCE 2013 Consultation document on Open Access to research and evidence.

These are slides taken from the Finch Report and the HEFCE 2013 Consultation document on Open Access to research and evidence.

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  • 1. Open Access Discussion
  • 2. Barriers to access ‘– particularly when the research is publicly-funded – are increasingly unacceptable in an online world: for such barriers restrict the innovation, growth and other benefits which can flow from research.’ ● Summary p2 Finch Report excellence-how-to-expand-access-to-research- publications/
  • 3. 3 forms of academic publication at the present ● Subscription Journals ● Open Access Journals (assumed to be funded by the author rather than subscription, APC) ● Repositories (largely institutional) Finch recommends that there should be a widespread move from commercial and/or learned society subscription journals towards Open Access through Article Publication Charge (APC) and anticipates that, since many journals are international or from countries beyond the UK, there will be a slow movement from subscription to APC.
  • 4. Open Access Discussion: Peer Review The process of peer review as a gatekeeper to publication may change. Some initiatives are now in place where submissions to journals are mentored to publication by an editorial board or an academic community. ● eg The Online Educational Journal from Durham University (
  • 5. Open Access Discussion: APC APC is not the only option for Open Access as stated in the report. ● There is a wide movement towards OJS (Open Journal Systems) which is an open source journal production system that is free to use but running costs need to be met from some source.
  • 6. LIST OF PUBLISHERS Beall’s List: Potential, possible, or probable predatory scholarly open-access publishers This is a list of questionable, scholarly open-access publishers. We recommend that scholars read the available reviews, assessments and descriptions provided here, and then decide for themselves whether they want to submit articles, serve as editors or on editorial boards. The criteria for determining predatory publishers are here. On my wanderings across the internet I came across Jeffrey Beall’s site ‘Scholarly Open Access‘. His site is a fantastic resource for suspected academic journals and the publishers that produce them. The journals that are listed are nothing more than cash cows for catching unwary researchers by charging them to publish their own articles in journals that are not properly edited or peer-reviewed. This is often a trap that PhD and Post-Doctoral students can fall into as they aim to publish their research to gain academic credit and traction to starting an academic career. However it is well noted that established academic researchers and lecturers often collude, willingly or unwillingly and sometimes unknowingly, by serving as editors on the journal boards. Ben Goldacre, in his 2012 book ‘Bad Pharma: How Drug Companies Mislead Doctors and Harm Patients‘, mentions the damage that this can do to scientific research and to human health. It is a serious problem in the academic world that has real world effects in the application of scientific research and results. The criteria by which Beall determines predatory open access publishers can be found here and the full list of potential, possible or predatory scholar
  • 7. The Business Model In a comment on the report’s RIN web pages. Tom Watson (11/07/2012 ) provides a criticism of the report’s omission of open access publishing where author charges or subscription are not used to fund the review and publication of articles. The costs of production are borne either by voluntary labour, or by the academic institution subsidising the work of editors and copy-editors: at present, the true costs of commercial publishing to academic institutions are unknown but there are many cases where commercial publishing is also subsidised in this way.
  • 8. Invisible Colleges In its report (Science as an Open Enterprise, 2012,) the Royal Society suggested that the readers and contributors to a specialist academic journal can constitute an ‘invisible college’. Thus ‘smaller’ Universities may have a role through their intermediation of specialist subject areas within faculties constituting ‘visible colleges’ supported by library expertise.
  • 9. Implications The advent of easy cost free access to a vast array of journals could really enhance courses in education. The importance of being able to find a coherent and relevant pathway through these resources increases and that is where faculties and departments of education have a significant role to play… as they have always have had. The move to author payment for publication may be divisive across institutions that may have different capabilities for or attitudes to funding this. It may be that involvement with the process of peer moderation and writing for open access journals becomes a more significant part of the tutor role