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Scholarly Communications Interest Group

Meeting Notes

Kim Mitchell led the discussion with her updated presentation from 2015 on Open Access.

Kim provided background to the development of the open access movement by giving the history of Aaron Swartz and his civil disobedience  hacktivism and subsequent death.

Kim provided some background on the history of scholarly publishing from the renaissance to the modern age. She described the current serials crisis caused by the massive cost increases made by publishers well in excess of the increases in the cost of living, and how the crisis has spurred the development of open access. She listed 3 significant events in the development of open access:

The Budapest Open Access Initiative - 1/2002. Established 2 paths to open access - 'green', which involves self archiving of articles in a repository; and 'gold' which involves publishing in open access journals.

The Berlin Declaration of Open Access - 2003. Focused on repositories.

The Bethesda Statement of Open Access Publishing - 2003. Defined open access journals and focused on copyright not being held by a publisher.

Kim presented the benefits of open access as including: More exposure to a larger audience, causing higher citation rates; Faster publication and greater availability of research (including to developing countries); the public, practitioners and taxpayers can benefit from findings and can use them to shape public policy.

She also presented some of the criticisms, including: costs being passed on to authors; predatory publishing; and possible conflicts of interest when authors have to pay to publish.

Kim mentioned that 85% of all scholarly articles are still being published behind paywalls at this time.

Kim also informed the group about the OA 2020 initiative which hopes to provide a rapid, sustainable path to fully open access publishing environment by 2020. The group discussed the likelihood of that happening, and discussed factors involved such as big package deal serials subscriptions and their cancelations; funding of scholarly commons, and the need for negotiating with publishers.

The group further discussed repositories and publishers, as well as Beal's list and predatory publishers and conferences.


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