Will the Open Access Movement be successful?

Nentwich, Michael (2008) Will the Open Access Movement be successful? In: Wittgenstein and the Philosophy of Information. Proceedings of the 30th International Ludwig Wittgenstein-Symposium in Kirchberg, 2007. Ontos Verlag, Frankfurt, pp. 233-242.

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Abstract

No doubt that from the point of view of scholars around the world, Open Access (OA) seems to be the obvious solution to the evident problems of scholarly publishing in the present age of commodi?cation. Access to the academic literature would be universally available and hence not restricted to those lucky enough to belong to wealthy institutions that are able to afford all the subscriptions necessary. Furthermore, many believe that only if we have a fully digital, openly accessible archive of the relevant literature, enhanced with overlay functions such as commenting, reviewing and intelligent quality ?ltering, we will be able to overcome restrictions of the present, paper-based scholarly communication system. Many initiatives have been launched (e. g. the Berlin Declaration1), some funding agencies have already reacted by adopting Open Access policies (notably the British Wellcome Trust2, but also the German DFG3 or the Austrian FWF4), new journal models are being tested to prove that Open Access is a viable economic model (e. g. BioMedCentral5), Open Access self-archiving servers ?ourish around the world (not least in philosophy) and even high politics has reacted (most recently the European Commission6). A few years ago, this author boldly predicted that a third phase of (re-)de-commodi?ed scholarly publishing is around the corner after the old de-commodi?ed period and the present age of almost universal commodi?cation (Nentwich 2001). But still, after a decade or so of initiatives (a well-known timeline on Open Access goes back to the 1990s, the Budapest Initiative7 dates from 2002), of testing and promoting only a fraction of the available scienti?c literature is Open Access (a rough estimate is 15 %8). It is growing, no doubt, but we are a long way from universal Open Access. So, will the Open Access Movement be successful? Or, put differently, can it be successful? What are the chances that the incumbents—the big commercial (as well as the non-pro?t, associational) publishing industry will give way to a de-commodi?ed future? Is there a middle-ground where all the players and interests could meet? This paper will contribute to this open debate by analysing recent trends and weighting the arguments put forward (this contribution, however, is not an account of the overwhelming amount of papers published on this issue, but cites them very selectively.

Item Type: Book Section
Subjects: Philosophie > Philosophische Disziplinen > Medienphilosophie, Theorie der Virtualität, Cyberphilosophie
Depositing User: Sissi Kemp
Date Deposited: 30 Aug 2011 06:15
Last Modified: 08 Sep 2011 18:53
URI: http://sammelpunkt.philo.at/id/eprint/2023

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