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[BOAI] Re: Dominique Babini on the state of Open Access: Where are we, what still needs to be done?
From: =?iso-8859-1?Q?Gu=E9don_Jean-Claude?= <jean.claude.guedon AT umontreal.ca>
I cannot disguise a certain degree of myrth in reading Richard Poynder's ↵ introduction to Dominique Babini's interview. While I commend Richard for ↵ moving beyond the usual suspects, I cannot help adding: well, hello! Nice to ↵ see that you are waking up to the realities of the contemporary world. By the ↵ way, according to the World Bank, Brazil is closing in on the UK's GDP, India ↵ has passed Canada and Mexico is closing in on Spain. Oh, and I forgot, China is ↵ more than half of the US and the UK is only the third largest economy in the ↵ European Union. Richard states that he has never seen clearly how the "stakeholders" ↵ in developing nations (euphemism for poor and dominated nations) could have a ↵ perspective that differed from that of OECD-based researchers and journalists. ↵ The difference lies in the fact that while, in OECD countries, we keep on ↵ talking about excellence and quality (without mentioning that we carefully ↵ control the tools that are used to justify our judgements, for example the ↵ impact factor), poor countries live this situation as exclusion and ↵ marginalization. There are no stakeholders in poor countries, simply because ↵ you hold no stake when you are live on the marches of the global empire. You ↵ try to survive, to find a small place in the sun. As a result, our ↵ "globalized" world harbours not only "neglected diseases", ↵ but also "neglected science". Dominique Babini, a wonderful person, ↵ by the way, and a dear friend, is close to people who overlook a vetted list of ↵ 6,000 journals that are regularly disregarded by OECD researchers, against all ↵ methodological precepts of heuristics. If it is not in the Web of Science, it ↵ does not count.... Several of us in the "North", such as Barbara Kirsop and Leslie Chan, ↵ as well as the eIFL crowd (Iryna Kuchma in particular) have been voicing these ↵ concerns for years now, only to be met with the "not quite ↵ understanding" understatement that Richard uses to introduce his (welcomed ↵ and belated) initiative. Names such as "RedALyC", "SciELO" ↵ (which will celebrate its 15th anniversary in October) and Latindex have been ↵ invoked many times in debates that are much more than the "excitable ↵ babble" (according to Richard) surrounding open access debates. Yes, Richard, do open up to Third World or poor countries that, nonetheless, ↵ are becoming more important all the time. The likes of Dominique Babini, Eve ↵ Gray (in South Africa), Subbiah Arunachalam (India), Abel Packer (SciELO, ↵ Brazil), Sueli Ferreira (Brazil), Jacinto Dávila (Venezuela), Ana Maria Cetto ↵ (Mexico) and Eduardo Aguado (RedALyc, Mexico) are good candidates for your ↵ Q&A. I doubt many will have anything to say about the provincialism ↵ inherent in issue such as Finch, RCUK, etc... The recently (Dec. 2012) ↵ inaugurated repository network, La Referencia ↵ (http://lareferencia.redclara.net/rfr/) is yet another example of emerging ↵ Latin American cooperation achieved through public money and many volunteers. ↵ It now links up with Open AIRE, a European Commission pilot project based on ↵ repositories in nearly thirty countries. Florencio Utreras, director of Red ↵ Clara, would be another good candidate for your Q&A. And, in the area of ↵ doctoral dissertations, Cibertesis (with Gabriela Ortúzar in Chile) would also ↵ deserve a hearing: Cibertesis is connected with NDLTD, by the way, and they ↵ certainly will not listen to the absurd recommendations about six-year ↵ embargoes enunciated recently by the American Historical Association. In the OECD countries, we have been mesmerized by neo-liberalism since the ↵ Reagan-Thatcher era. Hayek has become a cult in some quarters. No one seems to ↵ admit or realize that letting markets run free and wild generally results in ↵ increasing inequality; yet, this is what we are observing in OECD countries in ↵ general, in the US and the UK in particular. Unconvinced readers are gently ↵ referred to Tony Judt's excellent study, "Ill Fares the Land". This ↵ growing inequality is not limited to social strata (some would use the word ↵ "class" in this context) in rich countries; it extends to the whole ↵ world. And the solution is not to express surprise whenever someone proposes a ↵ solution that is not based on market mechanisms; in fact, scientific ↵ communication is no more amenable to market forces than research itself, and ↵ this simply by virtue of being an integral part of the research process. And ↵ when Eloy Rodrigues is wondering whether the future of scientific communication ↵ belongs to publishers or to researcher, I do not think he is merely laying out ↵ two possible scenarios; I believe he is actually expressing a deep fear of ↵ seeing publishers set the agenda of scientific communication. How can they do ↵ that? In a wide variety of ways, but one example will begin to provide an idea ↵ of what Eloy is speaking about: an economic association had entrusted its ↵ journal to Elsevier. They wanted to change the editor or editors, but Elsevier ↵ refused, and Elsevier owned the name of the journal. The association had to ↵ found a new journal to do as it wanted. Now, founding a new journal is not a ↵ trivial or an easy task, and meddling with editors is meddling with editorial ↵ orientation, and, therefore, content. Do we want to see commercial publishers ↵ meddle with the content of scientific communication? My personal answer is: ↵ Hell, no! I will end by thanking Dominique Babini and all her wonderful colleagues who ↵ belong to the vast majority of humanity for what they are doing in Latin ↵ America, India, Africa, Asia. As for us, OECD-country dwellers, let us try to ↵ be a little less mesmerized by our own navels, and let us listen more ↵ attentively to the rest of the world. Let us also try to understand better, and ↵ let us try to help under their guidance, and not any patronizing perspective. ↵ And, miracle of miracle, let us learn from them and let us imitate their best ↵ practices. It will strengthen them, and it will help us. Jean-Claude Guédon Professeur titulaire Littérature comparée Université de Montréal -----Original Message----- From: boai-forum-bounces AT ecs.soton.ac.uk on behalf of Richard Poynder Sent: Fri 7/26/2013 4:23 AM To: boai-forum AT ecs.soton.ac.uk Subject: [BOAI] Dominique Babini on the state of Open Access: Where are ↵ we,what still needs to be done? The ninth Q&A in a series exploring the current state of Open Access (OA) has been published. On this occasion the questions are answered by Dominique Babini, Open Access Advocacy leader at the Latin American Council on Social Sciences (CLACSO). Based in Argentina, CLACSO is an academic network of 345 social science institutions, mainly in the universities of 21 of the region's countries. In inviting people to take part in this Q&A series I have been conscious that much of the discussion about Open Access still tends to be dominated by those based in the developed world; or at least developing world voices are often drowned out by the excitable babble of agreement, disagreement, and frequent stalemate, that characterises the Open Access debate. It has therefore never been entirely clear to me how stakeholders in the developing world view OA, and whether their views differ greatly from those that have dominated the OA conversation since it began in around 1994. In the hope of gaining a better understanding I plan to invite a number of people based in the developing world to take part in this series. To start the ball rolling I have published a Q&A with Dominique Babini, who is based at the University of Buenos Aires. Readers will judge for themselves how, and to what extent, Babini's views differ from those we hear so often from those based in, say, North America or Europe. The Q&A can be read here: http://poynder.blogspot.co.uk/2013/07/dominique-babini-on-state-of-open.html -- To unsubscribe from the BOAI Forum, use the form on this page: http://mailman.ecs.soton.ac.uk/mailman/listinfo/boai-forum
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