Abstract: Research in Open Access (OA) to Scholarly Publications has flourished in recent years, however studies published to date tend to be quantitative, statistical analyses over undifferentiated corpuses, that monitor the overall uptake (Bjo?rk et al. 2010; Laakso et al. 2011). This doctoral thesis explores a different path of inquiry: it examines the effectiveness of OA policies in relation to the perspective of a ‘knowledge seeker’ and considers them in the context of the wider regulatory landscape that motivates their existence, specifically monitoring the availability of shared resources – journal publications, as well as other knowledge sharing artefacts adopted in technical domains – in relation to systems engineering research in the UK. Research Funding Councils adopt Open Access policies and display them prominently on their website, yet not all funded research projects seem to share knowledge by publishing Open Access resources. The main hypothesis driving this thesis is that a gap exists between Open Access in theory and Open Access in practice. A unique research methodology is devised that combines evidence based research (EBR) with a wide range of mixed method techniques, including FOI (freedom of information) requests. A novel collection instrument, a set of heuristic indicators, are developed to support the empirical observation of the gap between ‘Open Access policies in theory’, corresponding approximately to what the funding body state on their website, and ‘Open Access policies in practice’, corresponding to the level of adoption of these policies by grant holders. A systematic review and a meta-analysis of a 100 publicly-funded projects are carried out. The research demonstrates empirically that in the majority of the audited publicly-funded projects, no Open Access resources can be located.
From Google’s English: “Publisher Elsevier shall abide by the decision of the Appeals Committee to publish the open access contracts with Dutch universities. This means that the international negotiations now take place in more openness.
Recently did the appeals board decision in the case between publishers Elsevier and Springer against the Dutch universities. The subscription contracts, including the open access point should be made public . The publishers had six weeks to go against this appeal, but for now Elsevier chooses to leave it at that….”
“The chairman of the House Committee on Financial Services sent a letter last month to the head of the Treasury Department instructing him to decline Freedom of Information requests relating to communications between the two offices, a letter that open records advocates called “deeply troubling.” …”
“Based on our commitment to being transparent, remaining responsive to our stakeholders’ informational needs, and maintaining the privacy rights of individuals, APHIS is implementing actions to remove documents it posts on APHIS’ website involving the Horse Protection Act (HPA) and the Animal Welfare Act (AWA) that contain personal information. These documents include inspection reports, research facility annual reports, regulatory correspondence (such as official warnings), lists of regulated entities, and enforcement records (such as pre-litigation settlement agreements and administrative complaints) that have not received final adjudication. In addition, APHIS will review and redact, as necessary, the lists of licensees and registrants under the AWA, as well as lists of designated qualified persons (DQPs) licensed by USDA-certified horse industry organizations to ensure personal information is not released to the general public….”
“The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) today removed public access to tens of thousands of reports that document the numbers of animals kept by research labs, companies, zoos, circuses, and animal transporters—and whether those animals are being treated humanely under the Animal Welfare Act. Henceforth, those wanting access to the information will need to file a Freedom of Information Act request. The same goes for inspection reports under the Horse Protection Act, which prohibits injuring horses’ hooves or legs for show….”
“The province’s [Alberta’s] move [draft freedom of information policy] was widely criticized by journalists and opposition parties at the time, who said the change would undermine the exclusivity of documents they often spend great amounts of time and money working to obtain.
Exclusive stories or “scoops” are highly valuable to reporters, activists and opposition members, said Sean Holman, a professor of journalism at Mount Royal University.
“People with a private interest to hold government to account — whether it be reporters, activists or opposition politicians — do so because it’s not just in the public interest, but also because they’re able to get something out of that,” he said.
“So, if you put that information out there to everyone, it ruins the scoop and decreases the incentive to file a freedom of information request. Rightly or wrongly, this is how accountability works in a democratic society.”…”