“Abstract: The past twenty years have witnessed a mounting crisis in academic publishing. Companies such as Reed-Elsevier, Wiley-Blackwell, and Taylor and Francis have earned unprecedented profits by controlling more and more scholarly output while increasing subscription rates to academic journals. Thus publishers have consolidated their influence despite widespread hopes that digital platforms would disperse control over knowledge production. Open access initiatives dating back to the mid-1990s evidence a religious zeal for overcoming corporate interests in academic publishing, with key advocates branding their efforts as archivangelism. Little attention has been given to the legacy or implications of religious rhetoric in open access debates despite its increasing pitch in recent years. This essay shows how the Protestant imaginary reconciles–rather than opposes–open access initiatives with market economics by tracing the rhetoric of openness to free-market liberalism. Working against the tendency to accept the Reformation as an analogy for the relationship between knowledge production, publishers, and academics, we read Protestantism as a counterproductive element of the archivangelist inheritance.”
“A great deal of water has passed under the bridge since 2002, but as 2017 draws to an end what should the stakeholders of scholarly communication be doing now to fully realise the vision outlined at the Budapest meeting?…Today I am publishing the response I received from Lisa Janicke Hinchliffe, Professor/ Coordinator for Information Literacy Services and Instruction in the University Library and affiliate faculty in the School of Information Sciences at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.”
“Now celebrating its 15th anniversary, at the turn of the millennium the Budapest Open Access Initiative (BOAI) put forward a seminal statement defining ‘open access’ as the free online availability of peer reviewed research. Despite little support for the BOAI initially, open access publishing is now commonplace and an estimated 28% of scientific literature is now predicted to be published in this way. In our interview with Melissa Hagemann, Senior Program Manager of the Open Society Foundations, and co-organiser of the meeting in Budapest, we talk about the history of the movement and the challenges it still faces today….”
“For years, scientists have complained that it can take months or even years for a scientific discovery to be published, because of the slowness of peer review. To cut through this problem, researchers in physics and mathematics have long used “preprints” – preliminary versions of their scientific findings published on internet servers for anyone to read. In 2013, similar services were launched for biology, and many scientists now use them. This is traditionally viewed as an example of biology finally catching up with physics, but following a chance discovery in the archives of Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory, Matthew Cobb, a scientist and historian at the University of Manchester, has unearthed a long-forgotten experiment in biology preprints that took place in the 1960s, and has written about them in a study publishing 16 November in the open access journal PLOS Biology.”
“The movement to make biology papers freely available before they have been peer-reviewed, let alone published in a reputable journal, finally succeeded in 2013, when bioRxiv (pronounced bio-archive) was launched by Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory. But 50 years before, the National Institutes of Health tried something similar: distributing unpublished scientific papers, or preprints, to a handpicked group of leading researchers.”
Abstract: As a growing number of biologists formally share their papers in online repositories, it’s often said that they are catching up with physicists, who have posted preprints in the online arXiv server since 1991. But biomedical scientists were actually first, reveals a researcher who has traced a “forgotten experiment” from the 1960s, when the National Institutes of Health (NIH) in Bethesda, Maryland, created a preprint exchange but shut it down when publishers objected. Matthew Cobb, a biologist and science historian at the University of Manchester in the United Kingdom, recounts how starting in 1961, a 70-year-old NIH administrator named Errett Albritton formed what he called information exchange groups, consisting of interested scientists working in the same subfield.
“The internet now provides a free platform for sharing knowledge. How is it possible—or even socially just—that so many of us can’t get access to scholarly research? Isn’t society propelled forward by access to the science, literature, and art of the world’s scholars? What if that research is publicly funded? These are the primary concerns that drive the open access movement.
What would these concerns look like if we removed them from the scholarly communications circle and applied them to realms beyond the ivory tower like nature, society, technology, and ultimately the intersection of those things—agriculture. How does resource sharing affect biodiversity? How does knowledge exchange drive community resilience? How is information access—delivered via technologies—an equalizer among the underrepresented, marginalized, and oppressed? How does our ability to feed a growing planet depend on a culture of openness? Let me work my way back.”