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CRIT-GEOG-FORUM  January 2013

CRIT-GEOG-FORUM January 2013

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Subject:

Is Open Access still relevant? | invitation to a discussion

From:

sumandro <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

sumandro <[log in to unmask]>

Date:

Wed, 23 Jan 2013 22:11:24 +0530

Content-Type:

text/plain

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Parts/Attachments

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Is Open Access still relevant?

The last years have been both satisfying and challenging for the Open 
Access community worldwide. On one hand, we have experienced numerous 
'victories' of the OA agenda, such as the OA policy of Research Council 
UK, the Finch Committee report, and the OA policy of World Bank. Various 
agreeable arguments have been made forcefully to highlight the need for 
a transition to OA models of publication -- from betterment of academic 
practices, to economic growth to human development. On the other hand, 
the OA agenda seems like only one, and not a major one at that, 
'openness' movement among a crowd of similarly prefixed movements. 
Further, the OA agenda increasingly appears to be a rather limited, 
rigid, and old one. Many other 'openness' movements such as Open Data 
and Open Educational Resources, one may argue, are more effectively 
designed to better academic practices, drive economic growth and 
influence human development.

In a powerful critique of the existing OA agenda, Peter Murray-Rust 
asks: 'Is "Open Access" the same sort of beast [as the modern ideology 
and practice of "Open"]?' 
<http://blog.okfn.org/2012/10/26/is-open-access-open/>. He goes on to 
list out the features of this 'modern ideology and practice of "Open"': 
meritocracy, universality of participation, a willingness to listen, 
openness of process, openness of results, and a mechanism to change 
current practices (please see his blog post for clarification of these 
features). Instead of having 'open' self-reflections about the changing 
context and the need for revised strategies, as Eve Gray explains, the 
OA agenda has often remained haunted by the Budapest Open Access 
Initiative past and failed to interact with emerging allies such as OA 
scholarly publications and grey literatures.

To ask the looming question bluntly, is there a need to envision a new, 
more contemporary if nothing else, version of the OA agenda?

In the face of increasing acceptance of OA for journal-based research 
publications by national and super-national bodies, what are the next 
frontiers of the OA agenda? Does the journal-centric strategy of the 
existing OA agenda needs revisiting? The last question is especially 
pertinent in the context of developing countries, where policy-making is 
often influenced by privately-funded research. Access to such documents 
(and their underlying datasets) are significant in such cases for 
ensuring government accountability, or simply to induce a broad, 
informed discussion regarding making of national policies. At the same 
time, the diversity of national policy frameworks across the world poses 
a critical challenge to any global movement that aims to address global 
concerns while engaging with local specificities and demands. Similarly 
for OA agenda, it is crucial to discuss the possibility of a more 
participatory, flexible and open process of setting strategic agendas at 
national and regional scales. In this context, it might be useful to 
revisit the BOAI definition of OA, and question whether this definition 
is sufficient for a global OA agenda, and also whether the existing OA 
models (such as Gold and Green OA) are sufficient for delivering the 
promise of that definition.

To return to the context of various 'openness' movements unfolding 
worldwide, one may ask, if the OA agenda is now best pursued by 
dissolving it within other 'openness' movements? Should we talk more of 
an alliance between various 'openness' movements, or an expansion of 
some to incorporate the others?

To take part in this fascinating debate which is hosted on the WSIS 
Knowledge Communities, click the following link here 
[http://www.wsis-community.org/pg/forum/topic/586392/is-open-access-only-for-rich-countries-participate-now-in-an-online-dialogue-on-open-access-and-the-developing-world/]. 
Please note that you will need to go to the last page of the discussion 
as posts are ordered from first to last.

*Register here*

[http://www.wsis-community.org/pg/forum/topic/586392/is-open-access-only-for-rich-countries-participate-now-in-an-online-dialogue-on-open-access-and-the-developing-world/]

[http://cvs2.uwc.ac.za/trac/chisimba/browser/branding/Chisimba_Newsletter/Chisimba_edition_3.pdf] 
[http://cvs2.uwc.ac.za/trac/chisimba/browser/branding/Chisimba_Newsletter/Chisimba_edition_3.pdf]

[https://www.facebook.com/pages/Open-Access-debates/356010021156418]

*Tweet using #developOA*

Partners

Institute for Development studies [http://www.ids.ac.uk/]

[http://www.ids.ac.uk/]

The Centre for Internet and Society [http://cis-india.org/]

The African Commons Project [http://www.africancommons.org/]

Resources [http://www.gray-area.co.za/]

Open Access and and Development- Journals

and Beyond 
[http://www.africancommons.org/wp-content/uploads/2012/11/Open-Access-and-Development-Journals-and-Beyond.pdf]

[http://www.africancommons.org/wp-content/uploads/2012/11/Open-Access-and-Development-Journals-and-Beyond.pdf]

[http://www.gray-area.co.za/]

Gray Area -A blog which focuses on Access to Knowledge and Open Access 
[http://www.gray-area.co.za/]

UNESCO Human Rights declaration 
[http://www.unesco.org/new/en/social-and-human-sciences/themes/human-rights-based-approach/60th-anniversary-of-udhr/unesco-and-the-declaration/]

WSIS Knowledge Communities

Open Access platform 
[http://www.wsis-community.org/pg/forum/topic/586392/is-open-access-only-for-rich-countries-participate-now-in-an-online-dialogue-on-open-access-and-the-developing-world/]

Openuct initiative - opening scholarship [http://openuct.uct.ac.za/]

Please send this email to someone you think may be interested.

Funded by DFID [http://www.dfid.gov.uk/], through the Mobilising 
Knowledge for Development (MK4D) 
[http://www.dfid.gov.uk/R4D/Project/60700/Default.aspx]programme in

the Institute for Development Studies [http://www.ids.ac.uk/] 
[http://www.ids.ac.uk]

Emailer compiled by The African Commons Project [http://africancommons.org/]


-------------

sumandro
ajantriks.net

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