Academic research should be openly accessible to all. Many commercial publishers as well as professional organizations have hijacked academic publishing for corporate and organizational gain. These practices must end. These practices constitute open access crimes. The Max Planck Society offers a helpful definition of “open access” in this context:

In the scientific sphere, the term “Open Access” refers to unrestricted and cost-free access to scientific information on the Internet. Accordingly, users should have the right not only to read a publication, but also to distribute it to a wider circle and to make use of it, for instance for the purposes of teaching. The original author must, of course, always be credited. A more precise definition of Open Access is provided in the Berlin Declaration on Open Access to Knowledge in the Sciences and Humanities.

Publication on the Internet without expressly transferring rights to the users in the meaning mentioned above does not meet the requirements of Open Access. Concerns that Open Access contravenes the rules of good scientific practice are unfounded, given that the same rules apply here as apply to conventional publications (ban on plagiarism, improper adaptation, etc.).

The call for Open Access is additionally motivated by the trend in the cost of scientific journals, which has led to the phenomenon dubbed the journal crisis. Many supporters of Open Access hope it will not only improve accessibility but also serve to keep costs down.

For more on the value and importance of sharing, see the “On Sharing” page of Oklahoma EDUshare.

Open access journals offer a way forward. The LOCKSS (Lots Of Copies Keep Stuff Safe) Program and Portico are two open access initiatives. Oxford Open Journals are fully open access. See Matthew T. Dearing’s 1 Feb 2012 post, “The Rise Of Open Access Scientific Publishing” for more updates.

If you publish in academic journals or aspire to publish in them, you need to both understand these issues and embrace the ethic of open access publishing for academic work. As we work within professional organizations, we should advocate for open access publishing instead of paywalls. Together, we can stop open access crimes like these.

$35 "pay per view" for an academic article?!

Prices set by the publisher

Paywall for Academic Research

"full text of this article is secured" - #OpenAccessCrime

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  • http://www.facebook.com/harnad1 Stevan Harnad

    OPEN ACCESS CONFLATIONS

    Wes, your support for Open Access is very timely and welcome, but you’ve omitted the (1) easiest, (2) fastest, (3) cheapest and (4) surest way to provide Open Access (OA) by assuming that OA = OA Publishing (“Gold OA”) publishing and hence that the only way to provide OA is to publish in an OA journal. 

    But there is also “Green OA”: providing OA by publishing in any journal at all and making the article OA by self-archiving it, free for all, on the web).

    Green OA is not only full-blooded OA, but authors don’t have to give up publishing in their high-impact journals of choice in order to provide OAt. Nor do they have to pay a Gold OA publishing fee. Because it is easier, faster and cost-free, there is already a lot more Green OA than Gold OA.

    Yet there is still far from enough OA of either color (about 20% Green OA and about 4% Gold OA). Because of a variety of (unfounded) worries, authors are not spontaneously providing OA of either color in sufficient numbers of their own accord.

    But that is the 5th advantage of Green OA self-archiving: Unlike Gold OA publishing (which depends on journals converting to Gold OA and authors converting to publishing in them), Green OA self-archiving can be mandated (i.e., required) by authors’ funders and institutions.

    See: http://bit.ly/GrnGldOA 

    Poynder, Richard (2011) Open Access by Numbers, Open and Shut, 19 June 2011http://poynder.blogspot.ca/2011/06/open-access-by-numbers.html

  • http://www.facebook.com/harnad1 Stevan Harnad

    OPEN ACCESS CONFLATIONS

    Wes, your support for Open Access is very timely and welcome, but you’ve omitted the (1) easiest, (2) fastest, (3) cheapest and (4) surest way to provide Open Access (OA) by assuming that OA = OA Publishing (“Gold OA”) publishing and hence that the only way to provide OA is to publish in an OA journal. 

    But there is also “Green OA”: providing OA by publishing in any journal at all and making the article OA by self-archiving it, free for all, on the web).

    Green OA is not only full-blooded OA, but authors don’t have to give up publishing in their high-impact journals of choice in order to provide OAt. Nor do they have to pay a Gold OA publishing fee. Because it is easier, faster and cost-free, there is already a lot more Green OA than Gold OA.

    Yet there is still far from enough OA of either color (about 20% Green OA and about 4% Gold OA). Because of a variety of (unfounded) worries, authors are not spontaneously providing OA of either color in sufficient numbers of their own accord.

    But that is the 5th advantage of Green OA self-archiving: Unlike Gold OA publishing (which depends on journals converting to Gold OA and authors converting to publishing in them), Green OA self-archiving can be mandated (i.e., required) by authors’ funders and institutions.

    See: http://bit.ly/GrnGldOA 

    Poynder, Richard (2011) Open Access by Numbers, Open and Shut, 19 June 2011http://poynder.blogspot.ca/2011/06/open-access-by-numbers.html

  • http://twitter.com/douglevin Doug Levin

    This is an important topic that hasn’t gotten enough attention in education policy and research circles. Thanks for your post, Wesley. Some more links for you and your readers:
    * For more on open access advocacy, see: http://www.arl.org/sparc/.
    * You can also find a directory of open access journals at: http://www.doaj.org/.
    * Another major center of activity: the Public Library of Science (PLoS): http://www.plos.org/
    * An ongoing boycott of a major publisher by academics who support open access: http://thecostofknowledge.com/

  • http://www.speedofcreativity.org Wesley Fryer

    Thanks so much for providing this info about ‘green’ and ‘gold’ OA. When I wrote for TCEA’s TechEdge for about a decade I was a “green OA” publisher, and those articles remain archived:
    http://www.wtvi.com/teks/

    I actually want to migrate my main wesfryer.com site to WordPress in the months ahead and include an article archive section, which will include my dissertation as well as other published works. I’m definitely going to ‘spread the word’ about “green OA” publishing.

  • http://www.speedofcreativity.org Wesley Fryer

    Super, thanks for sharing these links, Doug.

  • Omics Group inc

    Open access journals are scholarly journals that are
    available online to the reader “without financial, legal, or technical
    barriers other than those inseparable from gaining access to the internet
    itself. Some are subsidized, and some require payment on behalf of the author.
    Subsidized journals are financed by an academic institution, learned society or
    a government information center; those requiring payment are typically financed
    by money made available to researchers for the purpose from a public or private
    funding agency, as part of a research grant. There have also been several
    modifications of open access journals that have considerably different natures:
    hybrid open access journals and delayed open access journals.

    Open access journals (sometimes called the “gold road
    to open access”) are one of the two general methods for providing open
    access. The other one (sometimes called the “green road”) is self-archiving
    in a repository. The publisher of an open access journal is known as an
    “open access publisher”, and the process, “open access
    publishing”.
     

  • Omics Group Inc.

    An Open Access Publication is one
    that meets the following two conditions:

    The author(s) and copyright
    holder(s) grant(s) to all users a free, irrevocable, worldwide, perpetual
    right of access to, and a license to copy, use, distribute, transmit and
    display the work publicly and to make and distribute derivative works, in
    any digital medium for any responsible purpose, subject to proper
    attribution of authorship, as well as the right to make small numbers of
    printed copies for their personal use.

    A
    complete version of the work and all supplemental materials, including a copy
    of the permission as stated above, in a suitable standard electronic format is
    deposited immediately upon initial publication in at least one online
    repository that is supported by an academic institution, scholarly society,
    government agency, or other well-established organization that seeks to enable
    open access, unrestricted distribution, interoperability, and long-term
    archiving (for the biomedical sciences, Omics Group Inc., is such a
    repository).

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