Digital Research: How and Why the RCUK Open Access Policy Needs to Be Revised
Sep 11, 2012
from 09:00 AM to 10:30 AM
|Where||Bernard Sunley Lecture Theatre|
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Introduction: Professor Dame Wendy Hall
Respondent: Professor Bill Dutton
The Web is destined to become humankind's Cognitive Commons, where digital knowledge is jointly created and freely shared. The UK has been a leader in the global movement toward Open Access (OA) to research but very recently its leadership has been derailed by the joint influence of the publishing industry lobby from without and well-intentioned but premature and counterproductive over-reaching from within the OA movement itself.
The result has been the extremely counter-productive Finch Committee Report followed by a new draft of the RCUK OA policy, downgrading the role of cost-free OA self-archiving of research publications ("Green OA") in favour of paying subscription publishers extra money, over and above subscriptions, out of scarce research funds, in exchange for making single articles OA ("hybrid Gold OA"). The motivation is to reform publication and to gain certain re-use rights, but the likely effect will be researcher resistance, very little OA, a waste of scarce research funds and the loss of the UK's global leadership in the OA movement. There is still time to fix the RCUK policy. I will try to describe how and why.
Berners-Lee, T., De Roure, D., Harnad, S. and Shadbolt, N. (2005) Journal publishing and author self-archiving: Peaceful Co-Existence and Fruitful Collaboration.
Shadbolt, N., Brody, T., Carr, L. and Harnad, S. (2006) The Open Research Web: A Preview of the Optimal and the Inevitable, in Jacobs, N., Ed. Open Access: Key Strategic, Technical and Economic Aspects Chandos.
Harnad, Stevan (2012) Research Works Act H.R.3699: The Private Publishing Tail Trying To Wag The Public Research Dog, Yet Again. Technical Report, ECS, University of Southampton
Harnad, Stevan (2012) Why the UK Should Not Heed the Finch Report. LSE Impact of Social Sciences Blog, Summer Issue
Poynder, Richard (2012) OA advocate Stevan Harnad withdraws support for RCUK policy. Open and Shut July 26 2012