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CFP: The Future Is Open Access, but How Do We Get There?

Front door of METRO Library Council

Please save the date and/or submit a proposal to speak at the upcoming METRO symposium on open access (and how we want to achieve it). Proposals due August 1!

The Future Is Open Access, but How Do We Get There?: A Symposium
Thursday, September 12, 10:00 AM – 5:00 PM EDT
METRO Library Council
599 11th Avenue, 8th Floor
New York, NY 10036

Each year, more and more scholarly works are made openly available. Indeed, with European research agencies now coordinating to require immediate open access to publications based on research they fund, predictions about the inevitability of open access may soon come true.

As open access becomes the norm, what decisions will scholars, libraries, and institutions make? Will we reproduce existing power structures, guaranteeing the continued dominance of high-profit publishers and flawed impact metrics? Or will we build something different — community-led publishing on community-owned infrastructure, with legal terms that protect the rights and privacy of authors and readers?

We will explore these questions in a symposium hosted by METRO Library Council on Thursday, September 12. (Full info on Eventbrite.) This event is planned in collaboration with colleagues from the City University of New York.

We are now accepting proposals for presentations, panels, activities, and facilitated discussions relevant to these questions. Possible topics include but are not limited to:

  • Scholarly start-ups, business models, and acquisitions
  • Library publishing services
  • Tensions between readership data and privacy
  • Investing in open publishing and/or open infrastructure
  • Use and misuse of metrics in faculty evaluation
  • Open advocacy inside and outside the library

To submit a proposal, please complete this form by Thursday, August 1. We look forward to hearing from you!

Editor’s Choice: Openness as Tool for Acceleration and Measurement: Reflections on Problem Representations Underpinning Open Access and Open Science

Editor’s Choice: Haider, J. (2017). Openness as Tool for Acceleration and Measurement: Reflections on Problem Representations Underpinning Open Access and Open Science. In U. Herb, & J. Schöpfel (Eds.), Open Divide?:
Critical Studies on Open Access. Sacramento, CA: Litwin Books. Source: Openness as Tool for Acceleration and Measurement: Reflections on Problem Representations Underpinning Open Access and Open Science

Abstract: Open access has established itself as an issue that researchers, universities, and various infrastructure providers, such as libraries and academic publishers, have to relate to. Commonly policies requiring open access are framed as expanding access to information and hence as being part of a democratization of society and knowledge production processes. However, there are also other aspects that are part of the way in which open access is commonly imagined in the various policy documents, declarations, and institutional demands that often go unnoticed. This essay wants to foreground some of these issues by asking the overarching question: “If open access and open science are the solutions, then what is the problem they are meant to solve?” The essay discusses how demands to open up access to research align also with processes of control and evaluation and are often grounded in ideas of economic growth as constant acceleration.

In this chapter, Haider argues that the open access rhetoric adopted by policymakers frames open access as “a business model for managing relations between public funders and private enterprise.”  This framing of the issue has helped to accelerate the privatization of open access.  Additionally, the emphasis on policy makers and publishers has downplayed the role of researchers and librarians.

And a Very Happy New Year to You, Congress!

This isn’t breaking news (sometimes we at the Open Access @ CUNY blog go on vacation, and sometimes we even go on vacation where there’s no internet, and, gasp, sometimes things happen when we have no internet!), but it’s still making me break a huge smile:

Congress passed open access legislation!
(This is a major expansion of the NIH’s well-known policy!)

Both the House and the Senate approved the FY2014 Omnibus Appropriations bill, which includes many provisions in its 1582 (!) pages. The provision we at Open Access @ CUNY care about is Section 527, which appears on page 1020:

Each Federal agency, or in the case of an agency with multiple bureaus, each bureau (or operating division) funded under this Act that has research and development expenditures in excess of $100,000,000 per year shall develop a Federal research public access policy that provides for—

(1) the submission to the agency, agency bureau, or designated entity acting on behalf of the agency, a machine-readable version of the author’s final peer-reviewed manuscripts that have been accepted for publication in peer-reviewed journals describing research supported, in whole or in part, from funding by the Federal Government;

(2) free online public access to such final peer-reviewed manuscripts or published versions not later than 12 months after the official date of publication;

and (3) compliance with all relevant copyright laws.

The White House Office of Science and Technology Policy issued a similar directive last February, but as we examined, the directive did not make legislation unnecessary. As Peter Suber wrote, “we need legislation to codify federal OA policies. The next president could rescind today’s White House directive, but could not rescind legislation.”

And now we have legislation!!!  (Read more about it at the Washington Post.)

Many details need to be worked out, of course, but the passage of this provision is an excellent reason to put your New Year’s Eve noisemakers to good use one last time this month.

party horn
Courtesy of the Boston Public Library, Leslie Jones Collection. http://www.flickr.com/photos/boston_public_library/9076289197/