Copyright angst, lust for prestige and cost control: what institutions can do to ease open access

Copyright Open access

Leo Waaijers writes about copyright, prestige and cost control in the world of open access while in two appendices Bas Savenije and Michel Wesseling compare the costs of open access publishing and subscriptions/licences for their respective institutions.

The view that the results of publicly financed research should also be publicly accessible enjoys broad support in the academic community. Where their own articles are concerned, however, many authors hesitate to circulate them openly, for example by publishing them in Open Access journals or placing them in their institution?s repository. They ask themselves whether that will not be at odds with the copyright rules and whether they will gain ? or perhaps even lose ? prestige. For their part, institutional managers wonder whether switching to Open Access will not make things more expensive than sticking with the traditional system of publication.

This article analyses the current situation regarding these three issues. The only possible conclusion is that the academic community finds itself in the course of a transition ? from paper to digital ? as regards the dissemination of knowledge, a transition that urgently requires an active and directive approach on the part of universities and research institutions. This conclusion is in line with a recent recommendation by the European University Association, with the primary conclusion being that 'Universities should develop institutional policies and strategies that foster the availability of their quality controlled research results for the broadest possible range of users, maximizing their visibility, accessibility and scientific impact.

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