This is a large topic. For today, the main observation I want to make about scholarly articles is that open access is not enough — that what we’re really striving for is equity and diversity. We want a scholarly communications landscape that provides equitable opportunities for a diversity of voices to be published and read, from and in all parts of the world.
In my own view, to achieve this equity and diversity, we need to go beyond article processing charges (APCs) and the aims of transformative agreements. A reliance on APCs excludes authors who cannot find the money to pay them, and that burden falls disproportionately on authors from the global south and from less affluent institutions in the global north. We need to develop truly transformative models that leverage the opportunities of the digital age and fully remove cost barriers: no fees for authors or readers. We need to envision distributed, trusted networks, rather than letting control rest within just a few entities. We need academic control of academic work. We need to invest in reasonable and transparent costs, ideally within an open-source framework, for infrastructure and services that enable the use of that scholarly work.
For an example of the kind of new dissemination models envisioned, take a look at the Pubfair framework for sustainable, distributed, open science publishing services. Pubfair is a modular, flexible, open-source publishing framework for articles, data and other kinds of research objects that enables scholarly societies, funders, research institutions, and scientists to link existing infrastructures to create their own cost-efficient dissemination channels for FAIR (findable, accessible, interoperable, reusable) research outputs. The framework is inspired by the vision and use cases outlined in the COAR Next Generation Repositories work.
Statement: Harvard Library’s Commitment to Open Access
Filed by October 23, 2019on