• Rajasthan

    Cong 101
    BJP 80
    RLM 0
    OTH 15
  • Madhya Pradesh

    Cong 112
    BJP 97
    BSP 4
    OTH 8
  • Chhattisgarh

    Cong 53
    BJP 26
    JCC 9
    OTH 1
  • Telangana

    TRS-AIMIM 82
    TDP-Cong 25
    BJP 6
    OTH 6
  • Mizoram

    MNF 25
    Cong 10
    BJP 1
    OTH 4

* Total Tally Reflects Leads + Wins

Open Access: A global movement to free research from paywalls put up by publishers is underway

By: | Published: May 19, 2018 4:06 AM

Nature reports that libraries and university consortia in the continent are not only brokering new contracts that make more published academic work paywall-free or offset some of its effects, but also are collaborating widely to achieve this.

publishing, books, europeA movement for open-access in academic publishing is gaining ground rapidly in Europe. (Reuters)

A movement for open-access in academic publishing is gaining ground rapidly in Europe. Nature reports that libraries and university consortia in the continent are not only brokering new contracts that make more published academic work paywall-free or offset some of its effects but also are collaborating widely to achieve this.

Nature, perhaps not ironically in the present instance, is itself part of the publishing group that has been challenged by open-access activists—over 3,000 computer science academics have promised not to submit, review, or edit articles for Nature Machine Intelligence that is set to get published from January 2019. Many argue that public-funded research needs to be accessible to the public at large. However, the dominant academic publishing model continues to be paywalls-and-subscription based.

In 2014, the VSNU, a consortium from the Netherlands, became the first such group that negotiated a subscription deal that included rights for its scholars to publish all of their work openly. Groups in the UK, Sweden, Austria, and Finland have struck similar deals.

The movement is now spreading beyond Europe. Negotiating groups have representatives of various universities, including those in South Korea and the US. A global alliance, managed from Germany, is expected to head the movement in the coming days, and it will likely reach India sooner rather than later.

With varsities, where knowledge contained in the websites/pages of publications is produced, spearheading a movement against such publishing, publishers would have to rethink their revenue models drastically. Against such a backdrop, open access journals are mushrooming, as are pre-prints of research reports.

Some of these hosting websites may not be in a strictly legal activity, but their soaring popularity has created a “too big to fail” scenario. Amidst all this, the need is for both publishers and subscribing institutions to find a balance. Given sustainable open access also means paying for labour and infrastructure that props it, it is likely that paying to access research may not entirely go away.

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