Open Access: More than just academics and articles
When Open Access is debated it is usually from the standpoint of talking purely about academics, publishers and articles. However there are a lot more potential stakeholders and a lot more potential types of output that can be made open access apart from just the articles themselves. Two recent news pieces have highlighted the scope and depth that the Open Access debate encompasses.
Science wins as PLoS goes hard on Open Access
The academic journal the Public Library of Science will have a new policy from 2nd March 2014 which will mean that any author who submits an article to a PLOS journal will have to provide a “data availability statement”.
This statement will show where and how other academics can access datasets that underlie the research shown in the article. This could mean software code, original measurements and even image files and will be the original data collected before analysis.
The hope is that the raw research can be used reanalysed or re-used to further the scope of potential scientific findings from each piece of research. There are however technical issues (as some research data can be terabytes rather than gigabytes large) as well as potential ethical dilemmas.
Small firms lack resources to make most of open access
A debate has broken out between David Mullen Elsevier’s regional sales director of corporate markets in Europe, the Middle east and Asia and David Willetts the Universities and Science minister.
Following the launch of the Access to Research scheme that gives free access to articles from over 8000 journals to public libraries, Mr Willetts commented that the scheme would “connect people, including students and small businesses, to a wealth of global knowledge – maximising its impact and value”.
Mr Mullen disagrees with this analysis stating “A very small company [is unlikely to] toddle along to their local public library and spend half a day looking at a few articles,” he said. “They are busy people; they need to find the stuff they need and be able to get it instantly, just like they might reach out for a beaker or an instrument.”
The impact open access can have on business is sometimes overlooked in academic debates. This is a very important element of the open access debate and one that clearly needs to be re-examined by all parties involved.
Read more at: http://www.timeshighereducation.co.uk/news/small-firms-lack-resources-to-make-most-of-open-access/2011632.article