EUI Roundtable on Open Access and Scholarly Publishing

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On Wednesday 24 October 2012 – as part of EUI International Open Access week events – the Library organised a round-table on “Open Access and Scholarly Publishing in the Digital Age: The Way Ahead?”.

The round-table was attended by more than 40 persons: library staff, PhD students, post-doctoral fellows, academic and administrative staff from all EUI departments. Three of the four presentations  are now available. Below is a short account on the meeting.

Veerle Deckmyn, Director of the EUI Library, gave a short welcome speech touching upon Open Access and Publishing.

Patrick MacCartan, social sciences journal publisher from Cambridge University Press, gave first a general introduction to the ‘phenomenon’ of Open Access The goal of Open Access and the realities of traditional publishing. He gave definitions of Open Access publication, touched upon the consequence of a changing economic model for publishers (conventional publishers, but also Open Access publishers must lean on an income and this income – that used to come from subscription fees – will be replaced by a different model). The alternative that most publishers present is to make articles available against a fee, a so called APC (article- processing charge). This fee can be paid by the author, the author’s employer or funder. OA has lately met a strong media interest also due to the recent Finch Report (UK) that states that “peer-reviewed research funded by Research Councils must be published in journals compliant with the policy on OA”. The Report  presents the preferred solution to be Gold Access (OA journal articles) more than the alternative Green Access (authors’ self-archiving in repositories), and stating that Open Access is an expensive solution. Some basic data on the Finch Report is available in Patrick’s presentation.

Patrick mentioned that in the UK 3 major announcements were made in the UK on same day, 16 July 16 2012: “1) RCUK announces new policy to take effect on 1 April 2013 ; 2) David Willetts accepts most of the Finch Group findings; and 3) HEFCE announces plans to require OA for research submitted to 2014 REF.”

Patrick also presented the six various models of CC-BY licences.

Questions and discussions were many and quite lively, and issues raised were that APCs are too high and sometimes need to be paid before knowing if the article is accepted. Someone expressed that OA transfers the cost of print from ‘publisher’ to end-user. Libraries might save money via OA or they could be excluded from their role of providing material to readers.  The OA community has criticized the Finch report for stressing a preference on Gold Access, for exaggerating the cost of OA development  and for the solution of expenses coverage via APCs.

Patrick moved on to Scholarly journals and Open Access with special focus on Journals and on the position that publishers find themselves in between archival aggregators (JSTOR), and demands from funders and universities for OA. He presented Cambridge Journals Archiving Policy: a 12-month embargo (after online publication) for published Version of Record in institutional or subject repositories.

The second session was chaired by Veerle Deckmyn. Peter Kennealy, Information Specialist, SPS, EUI Library gave an interesting presentation on how to Publish the Ph.D. thesis: dilemmas for young scholars (this presentation is not yet available). Since  a thesis  is usually published as a monograph, the presentation rather focussed on how to publish with a conventional publisher – with lots of good advice on how to proceed – than how to publish in Open Access. Peter also gave some statistics on how many EUI PhD theses are actually published and how many we have in OA in Cadmus: a total of 163 are available online in OA.

As the EUI repository manager, I [Lotta Svantesson] presented Open Access and the role of repositories with particular attention to the realities of the EUI. This 6th International open access week has the theme “Set default to open access” and even if Cadmus today only has 1/3 of its records available in OA fulltext, OA is the goal we are striving at. Cadmus has more than 13,000 records and more than 3,000 are available in fulltext. The EUI has an Open Access Policy that encourages the fulltext publication, but not yet an OA mandate that obliges the author to send the publications produced during the time at the EUI in fulltext. Making the publications available in Cadmus is making the publications more visible! Authors may check their publishers’ OA policy in Sherpa/Romeo, a very useful tool. Since Cadmus is OAI-PMH compliant its content can also be found in other repositories and portals.

Finally Thomas Bourke, Information Specialist, ECO, EUI Library, gave a presentation on Open Data Trends, giving examples on what is done and available at the EUI.  Thomas invites EUI scholars give their views on the need to share open data. More details