Martin Coward on Open Access issues

Martin Coward reflects on some of the issues around Open Access – lots of useful links in there, and some interesting discussion in the comments. Here’s the first paragraph:

There has been a recent flurry of activity around Open Access (OA) as Research Councils UK (RCUK) and the Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE) gear up to implement the recommendations of the Finch report. As readers of this blog know, I have been interested in the emergence of new forms of publishing in the Humanities and Social Sciences (HSS) for a while now, and since becoming an editor of Politics, my interest has sharpened. Those of you have read earlier blogs will know I am very much in favour of OA, but quite worried by the current proposals for so-called Gold OA (where open access is secured via the author or author’s institution paying an upfront Article Processing Charge or APC). I also perceive there to be a lack of detailed understanding of the whole infrastructure that lies submerged behind academic publishing: from peer review to the outreach activities of Learned Societies (disclaimer: I am trustee of the British International Studies Association) to mundane things like copy editing services.

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