Open access to COVID-19 research accelerated the development of solutions. The urgency of climate change demands the same approach, but more than half of Australian research is still behind paywalls.
The idea is publicly funded Australian research should be free for the public to read when published. But if it means taking money from universities struggling for research funding, that poses risks.
Expectations that academics raise funds themselves and aim to publish in certain ‘quality’ publications are shaping research and where it is published.
In many other countries, a majority of research publications are now open access, but the system of paying for access still dominates academic publishing in Australia.
Open access publishing enables free and easy dissemination of work, but this does not meant that it engages with literary culture. Titles are isolated from bookshops, reviews, and cultural conversations.
Photo by Fred Kearney on Unsplash
The notion that a respected publishing house can be replaced by open access publishing is disproved by examining other recent examples, such as the now-closed University of Adelaide Press.
For now, it’s going to be trickier for the University of California community to access some academic journals.
The UC libraries let their Elsevier journal subscriptions lapse and now the publisher has cut their online access. It’s a painful milestone in the fight UC hopes may transform how journals get paid.
Libraries subscribe digitally to academic journals – and are left with nothing in the stacks when the contract expires.
Digital publishing hasn’t resulted in the free and open access to information many envisioned. Universities are increasingly fed up with a system they see as charging them for their own scholars’ labor.
Locking articles away behind a paywall stifles access.
In our institutions of higher education and our research labs, scholars first produce, then buy back, their own content. With the costs rising and access restricted, something’s got to give.
A critical part of attaining universal health coverage is access to published research.