Open Access 2.0: from Rhetoric to ROI


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The Open Access movement has gained ground and spread widely. However, it is time that we also consider the future of OA movement, less emotionally and more pragmatically. Moving from rhetoric to return on investment, let us focus on sustainable business models

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Open Access 2.0: from Rhetoric to ROI

  1. 1. Shalini R. Urs International School of Information Management University of Mysore Mysore
  2. 2. Conflicting worlds and border disputes <ul><li>Open access to journal articles is a border dispute with profound implications </li></ul><ul><li>The OA movement is the gift economy operating in market space </li></ul><ul><li>The gift and market economies of knowledge are polarized, interwoven and mutually constitutive (McSherry 99) </li></ul><ul><li>The rhetoric of the dispute creates and addresses moral communities and border disputes arise because the boundary between the two worlds is fuzzy and unstable ( DT Covey,2010) </li></ul>
  3. 3. How to resolve the conflict <ul><li>The OA is a dispute because we are deploying the norms of one economy in another </li></ul><ul><li>We need Rhetoric and ROI ( Marry the two worlds) </li></ul><ul><li>Let us learn from Google </li></ul><ul><li>Google Rhetoric – Do no evil… organizing the world’s information… free access </li></ul><ul><li>Business Model ? </li></ul><ul><li>Wikinomics …Long Tail of small returns </li></ul>
  4. 4. Speaking from experience <ul><li>Before going to the issues of sustaining the ideological fervor through a sustainable model, let me share my experience with a OA initiative called Vidyanidhi Digital Library, that I conceptualized and executed in 2001 </li></ul>
  5. 5. Perils of pioneering : Vidyanidhi Experience <ul><li>Pioneering a new space and heralding new initiatives brings with it both great opportunities and greater disadvantages. </li></ul><ul><li>Believing in the mission “ Access Unlimited, Knowledge Unbounded” and that Internet is a great leveler and would herald a flat world, we began the Vidyanidhi initiative in 2000. </li></ul>
  6. 6. Vidyanidhi Journey <ul><li>Beginning of collaborations with Prof. Ed Fox the father of Global ETD Movement (December 1998) </li></ul><ul><li>First proposal to NISSAT, DSIR, Govt. of India in early 1999 ( not successful) </li></ul><ul><li>Paper and participation at the UNESCO Workshop on ETDs ( September 1999) </li></ul><ul><li>Paper presentation at NISSAT Information Today and Tomorrow Conference, Hyderabad, November 1999 </li></ul>
  7. 7. Vidyanidhi Journey… <ul><li>NISSAT sanctioned the pilot project in 2000 </li></ul><ul><li>Vidyanidhi which began as a pilot project in 2000 demonstrated the feasibility of eTheses in India- with a prototype digital library </li></ul><ul><li>In 2003- with support from the Ford Foundation and Microsoft, Vidyanidhi began its second phase of development </li></ul>
  8. 8. Indian Doctoral Research <ul><li>More than 500 universities in India </li></ul><ul><li>Annual Turn over (Estimates)-- 30,000 to 35,000 theses </li></ul><ul><li>At any particular time--doctoral students – 300,000 </li></ul><ul><li>Cost per year –300,000 x 1,20,000 = 36000 million (800 million USD) </li></ul><ul><li>( Back of the envelope calculations) </li></ul>
  9. 9. What happens to this? <ul><li>One tangible outcome of all that investments is the thesis </li></ul><ul><li>Frozen assets--mostly unseen </li></ul><ul><li>There are two major challenges with this scenario </li></ul><ul><li>Poor visibility, limited access, and the attendant issues of duplication. </li></ul><ul><li>Poor quality of doctoral research </li></ul>
  10. 10. Indian Doctoral Research… <ul><li>Produced electronically but erased for ever…..why? </li></ul><ul><li>Lack of an appropriate mechanism </li></ul><ul><li>Misconceptions--digitization is equal to a digital archive/library </li></ul><ul><li>A digital library is a mechanism for creating, archiving and making it accessible via networks </li></ul>
  11. 11. Major Challenges <ul><li>Who are you and why are you doing it ? </li></ul><ul><li>No policy framework ( national level as well as organizational level) </li></ul><ul><li>Resistance from the stakeholders </li></ul><ul><li>Plagiarism </li></ul><ul><li>Copyrights issues </li></ul><ul><li>Infrastructural issues </li></ul>
  12. 12. Vidyanidhi: Strategies <ul><li>Top down as well as bottom up </li></ul><ul><li>Policy Framework – through meetings, liaison, participation </li></ul><ul><li>Partnering with universities and other agencies to move towards a consortia </li></ul><ul><li>Education and Training </li></ul><ul><li>Content Building- full text and metadata-multi-pronged approach </li></ul><ul><li>Resources and tools (software, interfaces…) </li></ul>
  13. 13. Major Outcomes <ul><li>Spurring the ETD movement leading to ETD initiatives in India </li></ul><ul><li>Joining the international organization ( NDLTD) </li></ul><ul><li>An ETD repository (Vidyanidhi) currently having 1,30,000 metadata records </li></ul><ul><li>A full text repository with 12,000 theses </li></ul><ul><li>ETD policies in some universities </li></ul><ul><li>A national ETD policy such as the UGC regulatory framework for theses metadata and eTheses prepared by an expert committee ( 2007) </li></ul>
  14. 14. Policy Framework (UGC)—how we got there <ul><li>Vidyanidhi organized the Round Table of Vice Chancellors of some select universities under the chairmanship of the UGC-chairman (May 14, 2004) </li></ul><ul><li>Getting the endorsement from the UNESCO, Paris </li></ul><ul><li>Constitution of an Expert Committee for the drafting of regulations for ETDs </li></ul><ul><li>UGC (Submission of Metadata and Full-text of Doctoral Theses in Electronic Format) Regulations, 2005 </li></ul><ul><li>Catalyzing through other agencies--AIU, NAAC and others </li></ul>
  15. 15. A regulation recommending - <ul><li>A model format ( template) for Ph.D theses </li></ul><ul><li>A National ETD-MS ( eTheses Metadata Standard) </li></ul><ul><li>An Indian Standard Theses Numbering system </li></ul><ul><li>A National standard citing style </li></ul><ul><li>A national database of theses </li></ul><ul><li>An institutional and national repository of eTheses </li></ul>
  16. 16. Vidyanidhi today <ul><li>Database of Indian theses- currently 130,000 records </li></ul><ul><li>A digital library of 12,000 theses </li></ul><ul><li>Interfaces for searching the database </li></ul><ul><li>Facilities for submission of metadata online </li></ul><ul><li>Technology platform – a hybrid </li></ul><ul><li>Facilities for submitting full txt of theses on online ( DSpace@Vidyanidhi) </li></ul><ul><li>Theses templates and online tutorials </li></ul>
  17. 18. Searching in Kannada
  18. 19. Lessons learned <ul><li>We need to focus on : </li></ul><ul><li>Advocacy and campaign </li></ul><ul><li>Building the necessary frameworks and mechanisms ( beyond simple technical infrastructures) </li></ul><ul><li>Sustaining the ideological fervor </li></ul><ul><li>Sustainable business models </li></ul>
  19. 20. What makes the world go around ? <ul><li>There are only two things that make things happen in the world </li></ul><ul><li>They are : religion and money </li></ul><ul><li>To take OA to the next level, we need to turn this into a religion and also look at new economic models </li></ul>
  20. 21. Turn OA into a Religion/Ritual ? <ul><li>Demands a “Collective Action Approach” </li></ul><ul><li>Having OA evangelists in every organization </li></ul><ul><li>Having one agency (library) within the organization mandated to “do it” </li></ul><ul><li>Finding the champions to champion the cause </li></ul><ul><li>By integrating OA into our academic culture </li></ul><ul><li>Institutional Repository today is still a voluntary add-on service or passion a library(Librarian) undertakes. It is not yet a part of the duties of academic libraries. </li></ul>
  21. 22. OA and Librarians <ul><li>Integration of OA into the Librarians’ Job Descriptions </li></ul><ul><li>Collection and Access function of libraries to include materials created and produced internally and providing access globally </li></ul><ul><li>LIS curriculum can also play a part in this (At Mysore we have introduced an elective Academic Libraries and OA </li></ul>
  22. 23. Turning it into a religion and ritual <ul><li>Building institutional practices – integrating into the accreditation and such other academic cultures. </li></ul><ul><li>Accreditation agencies should have OA as one of the parameters of assessment. </li></ul><ul><li>Building incentivizing mechanisms ( just as the journal publication system works) for example the increase in citations, downloads, etc. Open Access Citation Index </li></ul>
  23. 24. Just one comment on an OA from advocate blog <ul><li>“ here is a collective action problem. I am untenured and I need to keep an eye on my reputation. That means that there is a handful of journals (you know which ones) that I have to aspire to publish in; if they don't sign on to open access principles, such as allowing posting of papers on websites, then I am in a bind. If most people in the profession signed on, then of course those journals would be marginalized and would be forced to change their policies. What to do? Tenured philosophers can lead the charge, publishing their best work in open access journals and pressuring the top 10 journals. So far as I can see, this isn't happening (witness the pitifully slow progress of Philosopher's Imprint)” </li></ul>
  24. 25. Religion and Culture <ul><li>We need to build the whole ecosystem of OA publishing and not just OA repository and OA journals </li></ul><ul><li>Build repositories that provide as good an experience with all the features and functionalities of e-Journals. </li></ul><ul><li>IRs and OA repositories are a poor second when it comes to many newer features such as related papers, number of downloads statistics, and many such attractive functionalities of the eJournals </li></ul>
  25. 28. <ul><li>Many different models of reaching out to author communities exist for example : </li></ul><ul><li>Face Book </li></ul><ul><li>Linked In </li></ul><ul><li>Twitter </li></ul>
  26. 29. Building Business Models <ul><li>Google represents the ultimate in business plans. By controlling access to information, it has made billions, which it is now investing in the control of the information itself </li></ul><ul><li>Google demonstrated the possibility of transforming the intellectual riches of our libraries, into an electronic database that could be tapped by anyone anywhere at any time. </li></ul><ul><li>(The Library: Three Jeremiads, Robert Darnton, Dec 2010) </li></ul>
  27. 30. Revenue through ads ( IEEE example)
  28. 31. An Economic Model that does not hurt <ul><li>Let us meld the two economic models </li></ul><ul><li>Google Adsense </li></ul><ul><li>Long Tail of small revenues (Charge nominal subscriptions or per page charges) </li></ul><ul><li>Studies have shown there are a huge number of turn-away customers than actual customers. </li></ul><ul><li>We need to look at a business model of enticing these customers </li></ul>
  29. 32. OA 2.0 <ul><li>Meld ideology with sustainability </li></ul><ul><li>Information wants to be free, but how do we maintain it free from free fall </li></ul><ul><li>May be we need to find solutions in the economics of the internet (the new information economics) </li></ul><ul><li>We need to build a strong and sustainable movement through a policy framework followed by a plan of action </li></ul>
  30. 33. PNM-PPM Library 3.0 Seminar June 29,2010 Shalini Urs Thank you