October 5, 2012
The PLoS blog is gearing up nicely for Open Access Week (October 22-28 — make sure you’re there) by asking How Open Is It? We are quite used to seeing the term Open Access (OA) bandied about, so the question PLoS are raising, as a natural extension to whether or not a publication is OA, is important in keeping us all on toes. Why? Well, for one very simply reason: what may be Open Access to one person, or institution, might not necessarily mean Open Access to another. This clearly comes up in conversations where, for instance, the mention of Open Access is equated with Open Access Journals — which, as readers of this blog will know, is just a subset (albeit a very large and controversial one) of the wider issue on making academic research freely available and accessible for everyone.
PLoS are seeking input on the accuracy and completeness of how OA is defined in their open review draft. You should download it, have a read through and then leave some feedback: the final form will provide a guide that will help authors make informed decisions on where to publish based on publisher policies. In their own words:
This OA guide is aimed toward a wide audience of researchers, authors, and policy-makers. Your feedback will help us more precisely define OA across a number of categories. The goals of the guide are to:
- Move the conversation from “is it open access?” to “how open?”
- Clarify the definition of OA
- Standardize terminology
- Illustrate a continuum of “more open” versus “less open”
- Enable people to compare and contrast publications and policies
- Broaden the understanding of OA to a wider audience
In 2002, the Budapest Open Access Initiative articulated the basic tenets of OA for the first time. Since then, thousands of journals have adopted policies that embrace some or all of the open access core components related to: readership; reuse; copyright; posting; and machine readability
Why now and why this resource?
OA is gaining momentum and we are seeing a groundswell of support from authors and funders to colleges and governments. Despite this progress there is still confusion about OA. With this guide we aim to provide greater clarity regarding its definition and components. All suggestions will be considered and a final version will be released during Open Access Week (October 22 -28, 2012). The comment period will close on Monday, October 8, at 5:00pm (EST).