November 25, 2014

Academic Publishing: Interview: Sven Fund, CEO of De Gruyter

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The following comes is a small portion of an interview with De Gruyter CEO, Sven Fund published in the July 2014 Issue of Insights (UK Serials Group, UKSG).

Sven Fund On Open Access

“Open access has been a major issue since I joined De Gruyter. We knew we needed to make a move in this area, and make it part of our strategic orientation …”, before going on to say that, “… in 2008, De major issue since I joined De Gruyter. We knew we needed to make a move in this area, and make it part of our strategic orientation …”, before going on to say that, “… in 2008, De Gruyter had a narrow focus on German-language print books in the humanities. While there is nothing bad about this – indeed, this is where the roots of the company lie – this focus was not conducive to international growth. Open access, particularly for books, remains a potential game changer. Ultimately, we can’t afford the arrogance of dictating how our authors should publish their research results.”

A few years ago, Sven was quoted as saying “In my opinion, there is nothing bad about green OA in general, it is just not something that we can offer”, so your Editor asked him whether those views have now changed. He responded, “Open access is a legitimate way of enhancing accessibility to scientific content. While gold OA clearly addresses the question of who will pay for it, green OA does not. And regardless of my role in managing an academic publishing house, I learned early on that there is no such thing as a free lunch. If funders and authors really want to change the publishing environment, they have to change the flow of money. Otherwise, open access will always be a by-product of something else – and I think it deserves more.”

“OA is… about ‘traditional’ publishing values, but it is much more about service.”

Read the Complete Interview

A PDF version is also available.

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Gary Price About Gary Price

Gary Price (gprice@mediasourceinc.com) is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. Before launching INFOdocket, Price and Shirl Kennedy were the founders and senior editors at ResourceShelf and DocuTicker for 10 years. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at Ask.com, and is currently a contributing editor at Search Engine Land.