There should be a course for this! Open Access does not mean free. The Public Library of Science (PLoS) defines Open Access as “unrestricted access and unrestricted reuse.” The Open Access movement founding is often attributed to the Budapest Open Access Initiative (2002) and Peter Suber has written and presented in detail about Open Access. For the most informative and concise overview please read Open Access Overview by Peter Suber.
Nancy K. Herther in her recent post Scholarly Publishing & Peer Review Face the Future explains the peer review issue with Open Access; and Joe Esposito enumerates some of the complex issues with publishers and Open Access in his post The Context of Scientific Publishing.
If you prefer your explanation visually, Nick Shockey and Jonathan Eisen, at PHD Comics, explain Open Access for Open Access Week 2012.
Have you noticed a new slide inserted into many presentations lately? “What keeps me/you – insert field or job here – awake at night?”
Librarians might say it is the high costs and complexity of content subscriptions. Today’s article Slow and Steady – Taking Time to Think in the Age of Rapid Publishing Cycles by Kent Anderson from The Scholarly Kitchen touches on many intertwined issues inducing librarian sleeplessness. The author discusses the case for rapid publication; the increase in research retractions; peer review; the increasing quantity of published research; corrections and credibility and cost issues. Are we seeing an “industrialization of research?”
Pushing for speed within the publication process may be putting a greater onus on our readers, eroding our brands, increasing skepticism/cynicism around the publication process, and diminishing the role of editors and publishers through a corrosive/erosive process. Maybe we should pause, rethink, and reassess the value of the filters we have created and how best to support, strengthen, and sustain them. Will a week longer make a huge difference? In which direction? Whose risk increases?