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[BOAI] The Open Access Interviews: John Willinsky

From: "Richard Poynder" <richard.poynder AT>
Date: Mon, 11 May 2015 06:15:51 +0100

Born in Toronto, Ontario, John Willinsky taught school for 8 years
before taking a doctorate in the study of education, and subsequently
became a professor of education at the University of British Columbia
(UBC). In 2008, he moved to Stanford where he is currently the Khosla
Family Professor in the Graduate School of Education.

Willinsky's interest in what later became known as open access began
in 1998, with his efforts to bring the evidence of research to bear on
local journalism. He quickly realised, however, that his ambitions
were significantly challenged by the fact that most scholarly journals
required a subscription to read, and many had yet to move online.

So he shifted focus, and instead began trying to convince journals and
conferences that they should go online, in the hope that this would
enable greater public access to research. To help persuade editors and
journals to make the move he founded the Public Knowledge Project
(PKP), which subsequently evolved into a partnership with the Simon
Fraser University Library and Stanford University.

PKP's first project was to develop an open source publishing platform
called Open Journal Systems (OJS). This proved hugely successful, and
by 2013 around 8,000 journals were actively using OJS as their online
publishing platform.

PKP has gone on to develop a portfolio of other open source tools as
well, including Open Monograph Press, Open Conference Systems and Open
Harvester Systems.

In 2006 Willinsky published one of the key texts of the open access
movement - The Access Principle: The Case for Open Access to Research
and Scholarship.

The Access Principle, explains Willinsky was an attempt to establish
open access as a worthy topic of scholarly treatment. "I wanted to
assert that this was not simply a side line, like choosing the title
of a journal, but really was part of what it meant to do research and
scholarship, part of what it meant to claim to be producing knowledge
for the benefit of the world."

An interview with John Willinsky can be read here:


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