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Demystifying open access


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This presentation provides the fundamentals about open access as part of the broader open agenda and locating it within changing scholarly communication and new forms of research dissemination. Adds a developing country perspective.

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Demystifying open access

  1. 1. DemystifyingLaura Czerniewicz & Eve Gray 27 October 2011
  2. 2. Open scholarship• Open content• Open research• Open licenses• Open data• Open practices• Open access
  3. 3. What is open access?• Open Access (OA) literature is online and free of charge• OA often refers to journals, can apply to all content• OA is supported by open licensing• OA provides free access to the user• OA refers to data as well
  4. 4. 2001An old tradition and a new technology have converged to makepossible an unprecedented public good. The old tradition is the 2001willingness of scientists and scholars to publish the fruits oftheir research in scholarly journals without payment, for the sakeof inquiry and knowledge. The new technology is the internet. Thepublic good they make possible is the world-wide electronicdistribution of the peer-reviewed journal literature and completelyfree and unrestricted access to it by all scientists, scholars,teachers, students, and other curious minds. Removing accessbarriers to this literature will accelerate research, enricheducation, share the learning of the rich with the poor and thepoor with the rich, make this literature as useful as it can be,and lay the foundation for uniting humanity in a commonintellectual conversation and quest for knowledge.For various reasons, this kind of free and unrestricted onlineavailability, which we will call open access, has so far beenlimited to small portions of the journal literature….
  5. 5. Content types• Articles (pre-print / post-print/official published • Publication outputs by version, depending on publishers’ agreements)• Conference proceedings discipline• Reports• Books• Book chapters• Research data• Podcasts• Multimedia Research Information Network Report, (2009) Communicating Knowledge
  6. 6. Open Access The Green Route• Self archiving – Institutional Repositories – Subject Repositories – Departmental, research project, individual websites• Archiving of a version• Check Sherpa Romeo for publisher agreements
  7. 7. Open Access The Gold Route• Publishing in OA journals – Commercial (PLOS, Biomed Central) – Society (numerous) – Universities • Rapid growth of open access publishing - now 7,000 journals listed and 600,000 articles
  8. 8. Salvatore Miele CERN OAI17 2011
  9. 9. Salvatore Miele CERN OAI17 2011
  10. 10. African Journals• Over the last five years there has been an increase of 543%• 40 African journals listed in 2007 to 217 in 2011• In the last year countries such as Kenya, Ethiopia and Ghana have appeared on the list or substantially increased their presence
  11. 11. OA- the developing world • SciELO in Latin America - 800 journals, 300,000 articles • SCiELO South Africa, supported by the DST, run by the Academy of Science of SA • Bioline International provides a platform for developing country journalsSwan, A 2011,
  12. 12. Full circle?
  13. 13. From Study of Open Access Publishing Report, 2011, What Scientists Think
  14. 14. Student support
  15. 15. OA and impact• 31 studies in a wide range of disciplines on OA and citations advantage • 27 studies show up to 600% increase in impact • 4 studies show no differenceSwan A (2010) The Open Access Citation Advantage: Studies and Results to Date. Available at
  16. 16. The OA advantage• (a) A General OA Advantage: the advantage that comes from citable articles becoming available to audiences that had not had access to them before, and who would find them citable• (b) An Early Advantage: the earlier an article is put before its worldwide potential audience may affect subsequent citation patters• (c) A Selection Bias: authors make their better articles Open Access more readily than their poorer articles• (d) A Quality Advantage: better articles gain more from the General OA Advantage because they are by definition more citable than poorer articles Swan A (2010) The Open Access Citation Advantage: Studies and Results to Date. Available at
  17. 17. OA impact: developing countriesThe influence of free access on citations is twice as large for thepoorer countries in the developing world compared to richercountries as measured by per capita GNI (Evans and Reimer 2009).
  18. 18. UCT• UCT already publishing in OA journals• Example: 61 articles in Biomed 2007-May „11
  19. 19. Concerns
  20. 20. Concern: quality• OA= peer review• Peer review = editorial processes• Quality varies in usual way• Not vanity publishing – No quality control in VP
  21. 21. Top 20 Impact Factors7 6.636 5.83 5.64 5.33 5.09 4.935 4.68 4.29 4.27 4.19 4.16 4.12 4.11 4.06 3.994 3.77 3.76 3.43 3.43 3.41 Impact Factors3210 Journal
  22. 22. Concerns: not in my discipline• All disciplines• See DOAJ• But The distribution of open access journals over disciplines is rather even. Grouped together, however, two thirds of the journals and three quarters of the articles are in STM Dallmeier-Tiessen et al 2010
  23. 23. OA availability (by discipline) An example of analyses of 2008 figuresSource: Open Access to the Scientific Journal Literature: Situation 2009. Björk B-C, Welling P, LaaksoM, Majlender P, Hedlund T, et al. PLoS ONE 5(6): e11273. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0011273 (2010)
  24. 24. Open Access The Gold Route• Publishing in OA books• OAPEN• Re-press• Open Humanities Press• HSRC Press and image• Rapid growth of open access publishing - now 7,000 journals listed and 600,000 articles
  25. 25. HSRC Press distributes in 11countriesDownloads in 184 countriesOnline titles visited 22.5 times moreoften than copies bought
  26. 26. Concern: lose control• Belief that open access = copyright, loss of ownership• But OA = public domain• Instead with OA scholars gain control• Open licensing
  27. 27.
  28. 28. Concern: Funding &costs• Free to the userBut• Costs to produce• Who pays?
  29. 29. Dallmeier-Tiessen et al 2010
  30. 30. Costs & benefitsChan, L 24 October 2011 Opportunities for Scholarly Communications in Africa
  31. 31. Costs• Expected reductions …high-volume OA publishing seems structurally inescapable prices for OA publishing should start trending down as the number of outlets increases Kent Anderson 26 October 2011
  32. 32. Why it is important• Access to knowledge – Access to world knowledge – Contribution• Participation• Visibility – Prestige – Impact – Reputation
  33. 33. Contribution
  34. 34. Participation
  35. 35. Beyond Open AccessOA is one element in a broader changing scholarly communication landscape Changing research communication Changing nature of the “publication” New types of journals
  36. 36. Research communication now Literature review Bibliography Conceptual framework Conceptualise Discussion Documents Comments Review, evaluati Data gathering Data banks Replication on, feedback The issue/ Interviews problem/ question Data analysis Findings Journal articles Lectures Blogs Presentations
  37. 37. Open research Literature review Bibliography Conceptual framework Conceptualise Discussion Documents Comments Review, evaluati Data gathering Data banksReplication on, feedback The issue/ Interviews question Data analysis Data Findings Journal articles Lectures Blogs Enabled by: Presentations storage metadata Standards licenses
  38. 38. Emergence of the enhanced publication
  39. 39. “Open access advocates might centre their vision on integrating open access with a new type of digital and global infrastructure that includes all results in real time … Therefore, the question that policy makers should be making is how to articulate open access as an essential part of the new infrastructure that merits institutional investment.” Armbruster, C (2010)
  40. 40. UCT signing
  41. 41. Thank