Open access has transformed the traditional way of scientific communication. Open repositories and open access journals provide large and free access to articles, theses and dissertations, reports, working papers, proceedings and books but also to other unpublished items, multimedia files and raw data. Fifteen years after the landmark Budapest Declaration, this book invites the reader to a critical assessment of the concept and the reality of open access, with a special attention to its impact in the countries of the Global South.
The success of open access for the dissemination of scientific information cannot be denied. Yet, the growing numbers of OA journals, articles and books should not keep the scientists and librarians from a critical posture towards the reality beyond figures and statistics. Most publications on open access give the impression that there are only benefits and no alternatives to open access. It is time to abandon this blend of marketing, politics and technology-driven ideology and to return to a more scientific and critical stance.
This book brings together seventeen short critical studies by scientists and librarians from different continents, all interested in open access, most of them supporting and accompanying the open access projects and initiatives since many years, each one with the motivation to better understand (and make understood) the ongoing transformation of scientific communication. Some topics: the discursive staging of open access, mis/trusting open access, the promise of reducing digital divide, open access and the Global South, business models of open access, predatory publishing, open access as a symbolic gift.
ULRICH HERB is project manager and scientific publishing expert at Saarland University and State Library (Germany). His focus areas are electronic publishing, science communication & infrastructure, scientific publishing, scientometrics and science research. He is publishing regularly in a variety of professional bodies in the fields of Information Science and Science Research.
JOACHIM SCH PFEL is lecture of Library and Information Sciences at the University of Lille 3 (France), director of the French Digitization Centre for PhD theses (ANRT) and member of the GERiiCO research laboratory. He was manager of the INIST (CNRS) scientific library from 1999 to 2008. He teaches library marketing, auditing, intellectual property and information science. His research interests are scientific information and communication, especially open access, grey literature and research data.