Web Science Institute Seminar

School of Electronics and Computer Science
Building 32
University Road
Highfield, Southampton

Thursday 7th Nov, 11am. B13, 3021.

Politics vs Technology: the Twists and Turns of Open Access

Prof Stevan Harnad
U. Southamptom

The University of Southampton has been a pioneer and leader in the global Open Access movement - the push to make research outputs freely available to all users. We have developed and advocated tools and policies for ‘Green' Open Access - the simple idea that authors can make a free copy of their research publications available on the open Web, supplementing the fee-based versions on publishers’ sites accessible only to subscribers. Green OA contrasts with Gold OA, in which publishers must change their business models to find their ‘gold' somewhere other than their readers’ pockets. Using EPrints ‘green’ open access repositories, institutions have supported their authors in making their research open, and in improving their visibility, public profile and impact.
After much negative lobbying from the publishing industry, the UK government officially backed Open Access but via an expensive compromise recommended by the Finch Committee[1] that paid extra to publishers to achieve Gold OA and sidelined Green OA. However, a House of Commons Select Committee from BIS [2] recently delivered a highly critical report on the Government’s preference for Gold OA, and their failure to give due regard to the vital role that Green OA and repositories can play in moving the UK towards full OA, and HEFCE has proposed a solution along the lines that Southampton has been advocating: Requiring immediate institutional deposit, whether or not the deposit is immediately made OA.
In this talk, Professor Stevan Harnad, a major thinker and strategist of the Open Access movement since 1994 [3], and fresh back from the Westminster Forum on Implementing OA Policy in London on Tuesday [4], will describe some of the recent twists and turns of Open Access progress and how the optimal and inevitable but long overdue outcome can at last be reached.
[1] http://blogs.lse.ac.uk/impactofsocialsciences/2012/07/04/why-the-uk-should-not-heed-the-finch-report/
[2] http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm201314/cmselect/cmbis/99/9902.htm
[3] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Subversive_Proposal
[4] http://www.westminsterforumprojects.co.uk/forums/event.php?eid=641