Monday, September 19, 2016

Current Open Access Initiatives

Last week, I attended a wonderful presentation by representatives from SPARC on open access initiatives in the United States.


Some interesting facts and figures include:
  • US Libraries spend 2.1 billion dollars on journal subscriptions per year (2014). 
  • Elsevier and Springer have profit margins higher than Microsoft, McDonald's, Apple, Pfizer, Google, Disney, Starbucks, Exon Mobil, or Walmart (2014). 
The overarching question is how can research be so expensive to access, especially when the federal government funds (i.e. taxpayers) so much it? That's where open access initiatives come in.

Foundationally, "open access means free, immediate online access to scientific and scholarly articles with full reuse rights." (Budapest Open Access Initiative)

Currently there are to two major paths toward open access for research:
1) Open access journals and
2) Self-archiving

And there is a huge incentive for researchers to make their work accessible and open. Citation impact for mature researchers has been shown to increase dramatically through open access.

So, you  may ask, what is being done to fix this problem? Currently there is a Presidential Policy Memorandum from 2013 expanding open access to the results of federally funded research.

And there are various stakeholders trying to memorialize this policy memorandum into law with S.779 - Fair Access to Science and Technology Research Act of 2015.

This is a huge step forward in the open access movement. You might consider contacting your representatives to promote the passage of this law.

For more information and to see the PowerPoint from the presentation, please see this link: bit.ly/txtechopen

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