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Open Access Advocacy: Failure and Successes


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In this presentation I share personal reflection with regard to failures in Open Access advocacy, and draw lessons on how we could move forward based on past mistakes.

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Open Access Advocacy: Failure and Successes

  1. 1. Open Access Advocacy: Failures and Successes Leslie Chan, Denisse Albornoz Open and Collaborative Science in Development Network University of Toronto Scarborough @lesliekwchan, @denalbz @ocsdnet
  2. 2. Preamble “openness is in danger of becoming its own enemy as it becomes an orthodoxy difficult to question.” Steve Song (2015) open-and-how-to-stop-it/
  3. 3. Purpose of the Session • Share some failures from OA advocacy (largely personal) • Thinking differently and moving forward • Limits of Open • Hear your stories and strategies • Explore ways to collaborate
  4. 4. Quick Background
  5. 5. 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): e1001016. doi:10.1371/journal.pmed.1001016
  6. 6.
  7. 7. “An old tradition and a new technology have converged to make possible an unprecedented public good.” BOAI
  8. 8. Recommendations • Author Self-Archiving in Open Repository (Green OA) • Publish in native OA Journals (Gold OA)
  9. 9. What are the goals? How to get there from here? Why the “journal articles”?
  10. 10. How to measure “progress” and “success” without a Theory of Change?
  11. 11. Theory of Change? Impact?
  12. 12.
  13. 13. Successes? Proliferation of Institutional Repository World Wide Proliferation of Open Access Journals World Wide
  14. 14. Successes? • Emergence of new “Business Models” • Emergence of “Mega Journals” • Emergence of OA Policies and Mandates
  15. 15.
  16. 16. Liu and Li CURRENT SCIENCE, VOL. 109, No. 7, 10 Oct, 2015. an annual rate of 22.4%, accounting for 13.6% of the total SCIE publications.
  17. 17. Fig 4. Percentage of papers published by the five major publishers, by discipline of Social Sciences and Humanities, 1973–2013. Larivière V, Haustein S, Mongeon P (2015) The Oligopoly of Academic Publishers in the Digital Era. PLoS ONE 10(6): e0127502. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0127502
  18. 18. If open access is progressing so well, why are the same old established powers flourishing more than ever before? Why are the dominant commercial publishers still making record profits, and gaining increasing share of the total scholarly outputs? And why are they still serving as the primary arbiter of scientific legitimacy and academic reputation?
  19. 19. Meanwhile • Too caught up with licensing and “business models” • Can’t break free from the “journal article” as the primary currency of scholarly exchange • Still addicted to the impact factor and journal brands • Forget that research is fundamentally a social activity
  20. 20. Openness has not disrupted the current power structure because it has been subsumed by the dominant market ideology
  21. 21. Big publishers are much better at coordination and at coopting Open Access as a “social movement” How to prevent predatory acquisition?
  22. 22. Moving Forward • Narratives matter • What stories do we want to tell about OA? • Diversify the notion of success (e.g. measurement academics, quantative of pub). • Broadening the incentives of research • Reclaiming the core missions of public universities – to serve the public good
  23. 23. … Moving Forward • Open as a process, not as a set of conditions • Collaboration across “open” domains • Back to the “subversive” proposal ?
  24. 24. Most Important Let the new generation be the driver of change
  25. 25. Your thoughts