ATGthePodcast 115 - What would it really take to achieve a full OA transition? An “open” take from a publisher, librarians, and a funder


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In today's episode we feature the audio from a Neopolitan Session of the 2020 Charleston Library Conference, presented by Ashley Farley, Program Officer, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation; Stephen Barr, President, SAGE International, and Managing Director, SAGE UK; Elaine Westbrooks, Vice Provost for University Libraries & University Librarian, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill; and Colleen Campbell, Open Access 2020 Initiative, Max Planck Digital Library.

The urgency for broader access to research has accelerated recently as scholars across the globe work swiftly, building upon previous work, to address issues of enormous public significance ranging from COVID-19 to structural racism and police violence. However, the full migration to open access publishing would ultimately see a fundamental reconfiguration of scholarly communications affecting all involved – researchers, funders, universities, libraries, publishers, etc. This session will give an honest take on the OA transition, including the state of developments in transformational deals in Europe and equivalent deals in the US and the pressures and impediments towards a systemic transformation of scholarly communications.

Specifically, the panel will cover:

  • The history of different forms of academic publishing, including the limitations of the subscription model which have led to pressures and tensions for libraries, funders, and authors.
  • Different conceptions of what “success” means in an OA world
  • How “transformative deals” may – or may not – achieve the reconfiguration necessary for the whole system to transition successfully to OA
  • What are the roles of different kinds of institutions (e.g., research intensive universities, teaching focused institutions, etc.) in the shifting open access environment and how are these evolving and being re-defined, intentionally or unintentionally

The speakers will not ignore polarization in the OA space; they will aim to get to the root of concerns on all sides and discuss what the future may hold.

Video of the presentation available at https:

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