In this talk I provide an extended argument on why we need to shift the narrative about Open Access from one emphasizing the university's research prowess to Open Access as university's commitment to its public mission.
Aligning Open Access with the Social Justice Mission of Public University
Aligning Open Access with the Social
Justice Mission of Public University
University of Toronto Scarborough
Open Access in the
Era of Post-Truth
Why we need better Narratives
about the Social Justice missions of
“Those who tell the stories run the world.
Politics has failed through a lack of competing
narratives. The key task now is to tell a new
story of what it is to be a human in the 21st
Strategy: Changing the narrative
Open Access as a means to showcase a
university’s research prowess
Open Access as university’s
commitment to its public mission
…principles of equal
opportunity, equity, and
Overall, THE weighs
at 60 per cent of the
total score (30 per
cent for research
and income and 30
per cent for citation
Asking Different Questions:
Do we want our knowledge commons to serve the needs
of market or the public good?
How to align the principles of Open Access with the
mission of the public university?
How could OA allow us to reconceive and broaden the
meanings of scholarship ?
How do we re-conceptualize “excellence” to reflect the
richness of knowledge and cognitive diversity?
Could Open Access change the current
power structure of global scientific
production and dissemination?
open access creates the
potential for new spaces for
collaboration and co-creation
Unequal contribution and participation in science.
Chan L, Kirsop B, Arunachalam S (2011) Towards Open and Equitable Access to Research and Knowledge for Development. PLoS Med 8(3):
• The Global South is gaining access, but lags in
• Criteria for legitimation of knowledge set by
the Global North
• Knowledge from the Global South has been
• Exclusion from participation is still the norm
“Is the scientific paper a fraud?”
“I mean the scientific paper may be a fraud because
it misrepresents the processes of thought that
accompanied or give rise to the work that is
described in the paper. That is the question and I will
say right away that my answer to it is ‘yes’. The
scientific paper in its orthodox form does embody a
totally mistaken conception, even a travesty, of the
nature of scientific though”.
Sir Peter Medawar
(From a BBC talk, 1964)
Format of a scientific article
• Materials and Methods
• Literature Cited
Fig 4. Percentage of papers published by the five major publishers, by discipline of Social Sciences and
Larivière V, Haustein S, Mongeon P (2015) The Oligopoly of Academic Publishers in the Digital Era. PLoS ONE 10(6): e0127502.
“We editors seek a global status for our
journals, but we shut out the experiences and
practices of those living in poverty by our
(unconscious) neglect. One group is
advantaged, while the other is marginalised.”Richard Horton,
THE LANCET • Vol
361 • March 1,
“Research or reviews that cover diseases unlikely
to be encountered in the western world will not
gather the citations that some editors seek.
But if this commercial environment does
seriously skew content away from what matters
to those people the journal claims to serve, as it
surely does at some journals, the culture of
medicine is distorted, even harmed.”
Richard Horton (2003)
Scholarly Primitives and Reputation?
Discovering Annotating Comparing
Referring Sampling Illustrating
Representing “…basic functions common
to scholarly activity across
disciplines, over time, and
independent of theoretical
John Unsworth. "Scholarly Primitives: What Methods Do Humanities
Researchers Have in Common and How Might Our Tools Reflect This?"
"Humanities Computing, Formal Methods, Experimental Practice"
Symposium, Kings College, London, May 13, 2000.
Scholarly Primitives and the
Research Life Cycle
Boyer’s Scholarship of
"The scholarship of engagement means
connecting the rich resources of the university to
our most pressing social, civic and ethical
problems, to our children, to our schools, to our
teachers and to our cities..."
Boyer, Ernest (1996) The Scholarship of Engagement.
Journal of Public Outreach. 1(1): 11-20.
Opportunities for Engagement
Public outreach and
New forms of
Engagement) Factor – Edward Jackson
calls on universities across Canada to
“increase their CUE factors by deepening
and broadening their teaching, research
and volunteering activities with the
external constituencies that have the
greatest need for sustainable solutions
to the challenges they face every day”
Broadening the definition of “success”,
“impact”, “value” and “capital”
Business value monetary return, financial capital,
Scholarly value Reputation and citation; trust; symbolic
Institutional value Public mission, community outreach,
Social value Equity, participation, diversity, social
Political value Evidence based policy, transparency,
accountability, civic capital
• Access to Knowledge is essential for a healthy
• The Rights to Research is central for sustainable
• Universities as centers of knowledge need to
reclaim its role in sustaining the public sphere for
the public good
• Open Access is a contestation over power and
control over the production of knowledge
• We don’t need more metrics but alternative to