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The State of Open Access

By Josh Bolick | September 5, 2013

After a break this summer, Open Access Now is excited to be back in action. It seems appropriate, as such, to share Richard Poynder’s fascinating series of Q&A sessions with stakeholders and OA leading lights about the current state of Open Access, and where we go from here.

The most recent in the series, with well-known OA provocateur Cameron Neylon, Advocacy Director for the Public Library of Science (PLoS), was published Sept. 3rd. Neylon, a biophysicist by

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training, is generally positive about the current state of OA:

“Across the world OA is a mainstream topic and the UK and the US are leading the policy agenda. Whether or not you agree with the policies the engagement with these issues at the highest levels is an important achievement.”

Other notable contributions to the series include that with OA luminary Peter Suber, in which he points out that much work remains:

“We still hear policy-makers, journalists, and Ph.D. academics assert or assume that all or most OA is gold OA, that all or most OA journals charge publication fees, that all or most publication fees are paid by authors out of pocket, that all or most authors who publish in conventional or non-OA journals must give up the chance to make the same articles OA, that OA journals can’t attain the quality of the best TA journals, that green OA must be embargoed, that green OA can’t be libre, that permission for OA must be granted by publishers rather than retained by authors, and that the costs of OA exceed the benefits.”

And that of former Elsevier staffer and current SPARC Executive Director Heather Joseph, who expresses distress at the inclusion of embargo periods in OA policies:

“I firmly believe that the embargo period was intended to be a transitional policy component. It should be reviewed periodically, with an eye towards shortening the delay in delivering critical information to the public, and ultimately, removing it all together.”

The rest of the series is also worth reading, both for the insights of the other interviewees and Poynder’s stagesetting commentaries. Have fun getting caught up; we certainly did.


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