[Air-l] Open access publishing (was a modest proposal)

Alex Halavais halavais at gmail.com
Mon Sep 11 06:36:50 PDT 2006


On 9/10/06, Michele White <mwhite at michelewhite.org> wrote:
> Do you think that this proposed NSF requirement would
> change publication practices and academic expectations
> in humanities engagements with Internet studies and in
> places outside the United States?

Maybe. I think the trick right now is that faculty most likely to
recognize the importance of open access are also most likely to be
untenured. Promotion and tenure boards in some places still discount
publications they think of as being in "online" journals. The real
problem is that, with some notable exceptions, high-reputation
journals are published by for-profit academic publishers.

I think that while most of those on this list (though that certainly
isn't representative of all who are engaging in internet studies in
various ways) are not funded through NSF, having a sizable contingent
of well-known academics encouraged to publish in open access journals
would provide us with a larger set of high-prestige open access

It's a tipping point question. You only need a few well-known people
publishing in a few open access journals to raise awareness of its
importance. I suggest the NSF solution not because I think that US
researchers or NSF funded researchers represent the best researchers,
necessarily, but that it would be a clump of people that could be
moved over to open access in one stroke. I was aware of NIH's movement
in this direction (and an NSF-funded study for an OECD group
recommended the same for NSF a few years back), but I was not aware of
the uneven results. That certainly calls into question my assertion
that it would have an immediate impact, but I still think it would be
a worthwhile way of highlighting the importance.


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