The Tyranny of Unintended Consequences: Richard Poynder on Open Access and the Open Access Movement – The Scholarly Kitchen

“As I understand it, Poynder is making two fundamental points in his analysis, each of which is summed up conveniently in a sentence that can be quoted directly:

First:

We have re-discovered the truth that there is no such thing as a free lunch. Providing free content and services inevitably requires some form of revenue from somewhere.

Poynder’s second fundamental point is the one on which he spends the bulk of his time, and it is also by far the more controversial:

We have learned that openness is by no means an unmitigated good….

The Tyranny of Unintended Consequences: Richard Poynder on Open Access and the Open Access Movement – The Scholarly Kitchen

“As I understand it, Poynder is making two fundamental points in his analysis, each of which is summed up conveniently in a sentence that can be quoted directly:

First:

We have re-discovered the truth that there is no such thing as a free lunch. Providing free content and services inevitably requires some form of revenue from somewhere.

Poynder’s second fundamental point is the one on which he spends the bulk of his time, and it is also by far the more controversial:

We have learned that openness is by no means an unmitigated good….

The Open Letter: Reaction of Researchers to Plan S: too far, too risky. A response of the Fair Open Access Alliance

[Undated]

“We write to provide a counter view to the recent open letter (“Plan S: Too Far, Too Risky”),1 partly based on our FOAA recommendations for the implementation of Plan S.2 We are glad to note that the researchers who have signed the open letter support open access as their very first principle. However, the letter itself goes on to make a number of highly problematic and logically fallacious statements with which we strongly disagree and here contest….”

The Open Letter: Reaction of Researchers to Plan S: too far, too risky. A response of the Fair Open Access Alliance

[Undated]

“We write to provide a counter view to the recent open letter (“Plan S: Too Far, Too Risky”),1 partly based on our FOAA recommendations for the implementation of Plan S.2 We are glad to note that the researchers who have signed the open letter support open access as their very first principle. However, the letter itself goes on to make a number of highly problematic and logically fallacious statements with which we strongly disagree and here contest….”

Open and Shut?: Open access: Could defeat be snatched from the jaws of victory?

“When news broke early in 2019 that the University of California had walked away from licensing negotiations with the world’s largest scholarly publisher (Elsevier), a wave of triumphalism spread through the OA Twittersphere. 

The talks had collapsed because of Elsevier’s failure to offer UC what it demanded: a new-style Big Deal in which the university got access to all of Elsevier’s paywalled content plus OA publishing rights for all UC authors – what UC refers to as a “Read and Publish” agreement. In addition, UC wanted Elsevier to provide this at a reduced cost. Given its size and influence, UC’s decision was hailed as “a shot heard around the academic world”. 

 

The news had added piquancy coming as it did in the wake of a radical new European OA initiative called Plan S. Proposed in 2018 by a group of European funders calling themselves cOAlition S, the aim of Plan S is to make all publicly funded research open access by 2021. 

 

Buoyed up by these two developments open access advocates concluded that – 17 years after the Budapest Open Access Initiative (BOAI) – the goal of universal (or near-universal) open access is finally within reach. Or as the Berkeley librarian who led the UC negotiations put it, “a tipping point” has been reached. But could defeat be snatched from the jaws of success?

For my take on this topic please download the attached pdf. …”

The open access shift at UWA Publishing is an experiment doomed to fail

“A statement released by UWA claims the changes will help “to guarantee modern university publishing into the future”, foreshadowing “a mix of print, greater digitisation and open access publishing.”…

The notion that a respected publishing house can be replaced by open access publishing is disproved by examining other Australian university presses, such as the now-closed University of Adelaide Press, founded in 2009 with a mission to be an open access publisher….

Sydney University Press, which was relaunched in 2003 after closing in 1987, has employed a “hybrid approach” to open access. It is now returning to a more standard university publishing model….

Open access has an important role to play in academic publishing, but it is laughable to claim UWA Publishing’s cultural impact can simply be replaced through open access….

 

Latin America’s longstanding Open Access ecosystem could be undermined by proposals from the Global North | LSE Latin America and Caribbean

“Open access is often seen as a process of switching from the existing closed-subscription model of scholarly communication to an open one. But Latin America has had an open access ecosystem for scholarly publishing for over a decade, and the recent AmeliCA initiative seeks to develop cooperative scientific communication further still. These efforts, however, could yet be undermined by recent open access proposals from the cOAlition S consortium of research funders in the Global North, write Eduardo Aguado López and Arianna Becerril García (both Redalyc, AmeliCA, and Universidad Autónoma del Estado de México)….”

Potential risks and solutions for sharing genome summary data from African populations | BMC Medical Genomics | Full Text

Abstract:  Genome data from African population can substantially assist the global effort to identify aetiological genetic variants, but open access to aggregated genomic data from these populations poses some significant risks of community- and population- level harms. A recent amendment to National Institutes of Health policy, following various engagements with predominantly North American scientists, requires that genomic summary results must be made available openly on the internet without access oversight or controls.

The policy does recognise that some sensitive, identifiable population groups might be harmed by such exposure of their data, and allows for exemption in these cases. African populations have a very wide and complex genomic landscape, and because of this diversity, individual African populations may be uniquely re-identified by their genomic profiles and genome summary data. Given this identifiability, combined with additional vulnerabilities such as poor access to health care, socioeconomic challenges and the risk of ethnic discrimination, it would be prudent for the National Institutes of Health to recognise the potential of their current policy for community harms to Africans; and to exempt all African populations as sensitive or vulnerable populations with regard to the unregulated exposure of their genome summary data online.

Three risk-mitigating mechanisms for sharing genome summary results from African populations to inform global genomic health research are proposed here; namely use of the Beacon Protocol developed by the Global Alliance for Genomics and Health, user access control through the planned African Genome Variation Database, and regional aggregation of population data to protect individual African populations from re-identification and associated harms.

Open access in an age of surveillance technology – erin rose glass

“The free, public exchange of knowledge, scientific and academic knowledge in particular, is precisely the aim of the open access movement. It is a noble goal, and given advances in computing technology and its availability, it is a more realistic goal than ever before. However, as the movement continues to grow, I think the open access movement should be looking very carefully at the way information is being managed, instrumentalized, shaped, and monetized in the broader information landscape. Because academic knowledge of course, is a species of information, and thus it will be subject to the same pressures and instrumentalization….”