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Hong Kong’s Open Access Weeks Chart the Growing Awareness of Knowledge Sharing Benefits

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Chinese University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong, the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region of the People's Republic of China, July 1, 2013 | © Courtesy of Gonzalo Pineda Zuniga.

Rather than transfer the copyright to their articles to large publishers via exclusive agreements, Hong Kong’s researchers increasingly opt for Open Access.

A Blog Article by Pablo Markin.

From 2015, Hong Kong universities, such as the Hong Kong Baptist University and the Chinese University of Hong Kong, have been regularly arranging Open Access (OA) Weeks as events including presentations, workshops and exhibitions aimed at covering specific OA-related topics, e.g., research impact, publication sharing, and author rights. This active interest in OA has surfaced in the wake of the wide adoption of OA formats, such as Gold OA, by both scholarly community and large publishers.

Furthermore, Hong Kong universities are apparently responding to the exponentially growing journal subscription costs, even though digitization makes the costless sharing of research results easier than ever before. As a global trend, OA, thus, represents a disruptive development in the journal publishing industry, the ripple effect of which is increasingly discernible in Hong Kong as well. According to SPARC, the Scholarly Publishing and Academic Resources Coalition, OA and Open Data can make a significant contribution to economic growth, reduce the costs of learning materials academic institutions use, such as via the deployment of OA textbook, and promote cutting-edge scientific research in multiple areas.

Hong Kong’s universities, thus, increasingly mandate the use of institutional repositories for the scholarly articles of their academic and research staff, which increases the visibility of their publications. Especially for Green OA formats, when a delay between the publication date and untrammeled access to the academic article exists, library repositories fill in the niche in the digital publication cycle as disseminators and preservers of science-related information. Furthermore, as universities increasingly conceive of themselves not only as teaching and learning institutions but also as sites of knowledge production, sharing and valorization, OA, such as in the form of national and international open data mandates, assists scientific research results and primary data to serve public good, rather than business models of private companies. This especially concerns research supported by funding agencies, which places on researchers data management requirements that Hong Kong libraries increasingly assist with meeting.

As the production and dissemination of scientific knowledge has long become globalized, the deployment of OA, open source and open format solutions, such as for data storage and preservation, by local institutions facilitates the efforts of Hong Kong researchers to shorten their publication cycles, apply for grants targeted toward digital and OA initiatives, and reach audiences, e.g., in Southern European and Eastern Mediterranean countries, that would be excluded from access to research results without the availability of OA.

For these reasons, Hong Kong university libraries increasingly act as OA promoters in response to incentives from and demands of funding bodies, governmental policies and scholarly institutions.

By Pablo Markin

Featured Image Credits: Chinese University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong, the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region of the People’s Republic of China, July 1, 2013 | © Courtesy of Gonzalo Pineda Zuniga.

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