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[BOAI] Cameron Neylon on the state of Open Access: Where are we, what still needs to be done?

From: "Richard Poynder" <richard.poynder AT>
Date: Wed, 4 Sep 2013 12:21:33 +0100

A new Q&A in a series exploring the current state of Open Access has been
published. This one is with Cameron Neylon, Advocacy Director for the
non-profit OA publisher Public Library of Science (PLOS). 


*Some excerpts from the Q&A*:


"I think the biggest achievement [of the OA movement since 2001] is actual
adoption: the scale and growth of accessible research content today is both
large and growing far faster than any other segment of research publishing. 


"By some estimates we already have public access to half of new literature
in the biomedical sciences. This is a huge achievement, even though everyone
at PLOS and in the wider OA movement would wish it to move faster. 


"Successful repositories are burgeoning, pure Open Access publishers are
growing at an unbelievable pace, and driven by an increasing pace of policy
change from funders and governments our more traditional competitors in the
legacy publishing industry are scrambling to catch up."




"From my perspective there are strong advantages to journal-mediated Open
Access supported by direct author side charges. When we buy a publication
service we can and should set the requirements on immediate access and
enabling re-use. But more importantly from my perspective it also creates an
explicit market in substitutable goods, and this ultimately will bring the
price of those services down - assuming that we can create an effective


"Alongside this, repositories are a critical means of increasing access at
relatively low costs where journal-mediated access is not available or
appropriate. There are transitional paths for different communities that
rely to different extents on repositories and journals but neither in their
current form offers a long-term solution.


"In the longer term we will need publication infrastructures that are
efficient, enable ongoing review, and support wide-ranging re-use. These
could be run by institutions, by communities, or by third party providers.
They will have some characteristics of repositories and some of journals and
some of publishers but will also be quite different."




"Hybrid OA might be, or perhaps might have been, a viable transitional
strategy to support a fully engaged effort of legacy publishers to move
towards an Open Access footing. What we're getting though is the use of
hybrid approaches to lock in the existing inefficiencies of big deals.


"The scary thing is that libraries seem to be jumping to create big APC
deals, which will have exactly the same problems as the big subscription
deals. Alongside the problems of double-dipping by receiving both
subscription and APC revenue for the same journal, and perhaps worse some
publishers charging colour and page charges *on top* of APCs this isn't an
effective way to deliver a properly functioning market that brings prices




"The single most important task today is putting in place robust and
transparent mechanisms to report on policy compliance, pricing, and monitor
the growth of access.


"This may seem rather prosaic but we have wildly different estimates of 
proportion and quantity of OA. Much of the fragmentation in today's debate
is caused by people building arguments on contradictory data. And it has
been too easy for institutions and funders to announce mandates without
systems to monitor their success, let alone enforce them."


The Q&A can be read here:



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