Open Access: Publishing *and* Reading

Open AccessI now only publish in open access journals and what I publish myself (or with teams) is either CC BY or CC BY-NC-SA. Admittedly, this is a mere (and largely unnoticed) drop in the scholarship bucket.

It’s something, but I don’t think it is nearly enough.

I weary of pressuring the publishers to change their attitudes; it’s time to focus on that other group: our colleagues. These are the colleagues who continue to publish in non-open access journals and continue to limit the accessibility of their (largely) publicly funded work by a variety of pay wall barriers.

I know many of us have sponsored, attended, promoted, supported etc. all sorts of vehicles to inform our colleagues and to influence their publishing decisions. Some success; lots of failures.

Time for a change up. However modest.

My research interests are a mélange of library and information science, information technology, teaching and learning, and higher education. Fields where there are numerous, quality open access journals.

So, as of January 2014 I’m only going to read open access academic journals in my fields of interest. I’m going to willfully ignore the work by my colleagues that is published in journals that are not open access. By doing this, I’m indicating that they have made a deliberate choice (by publishing in these journals), so I must make one too (by not reading what they’ve published).

Is this a responsible thing to do? Will it compromise my scholarship and professional development? Am I going to piss off some of my good friends and colleagues?

Perhaps. Probably. Yes.

Over the course of the year I’ll let you know how I do. Already I know it won’t be easy.

Not publishing in non-open access journals puts pressure on the publishers, not reading them put pressure on our colleagues.


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2 Responses to Open Access: Publishing *and* Reading

  1. Michael Steeleworthy says:

    So, as of January 2014 I’m only going to read open access academic journals in my fields of interest.

    This is an interesting proposition!. Any debate on your resolution to *read* only OA items would be a great thing to follow, and I think it might center on a matter of a degree: I think many would agree that it may be the right thing to do but wonder if it is “too soon, too fast” for academe and for society at large?

    I’d be keen on reading next December not only a summary of your results on this resolution but also a roundup of the opinions, encouragement, and pushback you faced over the course of the year. In short: I hope you document the dialogue and the conversation about this through 2014.

    • Mike Ridley says:

      Agreed Michael, this idea is fraught with problems. However, too early or not, I thought it would be an interesting experiment. Day 3 and I’ve already identified 3 articles I wanted to read that were non-OA. I’m keeping track of them (and what I do read) to see the difference. Denise Koufogiannakis at the UofA suggested I contact the authors to see if a green version of their articles are in a repository somewhere. That’s next on my list. I certainly plan to update folks about this. Stay tuned.

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