Benutzer:Heckerstampehl/Academia electronica? Future perspectives of open access in academic publishing

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The scholarly journal NORDEUROPAforum (I, Jan Hecker-Stampehl, am journal co-editor and editor-in-chief), which specializes in Nordic history, politics and culture, celebrated its 20th anniversary with a special event on June 8, 2012. We glanced back on our history, but we also wanted to deal with the future. We have been publishing our journal on the net as an open access publication since 2006 and our experiences have been very good and encouraging. Nevertheless, we thought it apt to explore the future of Open Access and therefore invited a group of experts in this topic for a panel discussion. The panel discussion (details here) was part of our anniversary event at Humboldt University Berlin on June 8, 2012.

Before and during the event, discussion started here on this Wikiversity page. It should continue, we think. We are interested in comments, questions, and anything that might enrich the discussion. Feel free to help us with your opinions, your experiences, your point of view!

Questions of interest:[Bearbeiten]


  • How can the quality of OA publications be ensured and maintained?
One point that needs to be addressed is the problem of plagiarism. There must be procedures in place for dealing with allegations of plagiarism and the marking of materials (not removing them!) that have been determined to be scientific misconduct. On the other hand, OA makes it very easy to discover plagiarism if the documents are stored in a digitally processable form. --WiseWoman (Diskussion) 16:34, 8. Jun. 2012 (CEST)
  • What needs to be done to decrease the image of OA as being less reliable than print publications?
  • Will open access in the long run be augmented by open peer review and how could this and other new forms of quality management in the academia work?

Turid: In my opinion the image of OA journals being less reliable is hopefully changing when OA journals get more credit by being included in indexing services like Scopus and Web of Science.

Defining new roles[Bearbeiten]

  • How does OA change the role of publishing houses, editors, and contributors?
Publishers will have to learn they are no longer gatekeepers, but custodians as well as pathmakers and guides. --WiseWoman (Diskussion) 16:19, 8. Jun. 2012 (CEST)
  • Who gains, who loses?
  • Which new actors come into the picture?
Vannevar Bush described in his paper "As we may think" a system called Memex designed for linking documents. He discusses the persons called pathfinders, who have the job of discovering and marking connections. That is the model of the current WWW - and these are a new kind of author. --WiseWoman (Diskussion) 16:19, 8. Jun. 2012 (CEST)


  • How should digital preservation be dealt with from a long term perspective?
  • What roles do constant migratory processes play, how can the tricky questions of changing digital formats be addressed?
  • Who should be in charge of the archiving process?
I think that the universities have the knowledge necessary to o this, but they must have secure financing through the government, as there is not much chance of obtaining financing through the private sector. --WiseWoman (Diskussion) 16:11, 8. Jun. 2012 (CEST)
  • Is it useful to keep everything in the archives? (from the perspective of a librarian and from a historian perspective)
  • Should National Libraries be responsible for archiving? They tend to not have much IT available.
  • How can data be archived that is not preserved on paper?


  • How does the discovery of possibly interesting content work with OA if Google does not play along?
  • When OA publications quote materials behind paywalls there is a break.
  • How are OA journals marketed?


  • How can we measure the effectiveness or the impact of OA publications?
  • How can credit be given for investing in OA as an editor?


  • Is OA positive or negative for the environment? Can we even say that yet?
  • What about the environmental impact of the internet?


  • What could possible models of funding open access [OA] publications look like?

Turid: I believe that the prevalent funding model for international OA peer reviewed journals is some type of article processing charge (ACP). The forms vary from single fixed charge (author fee) to page charged. The fee might also be for accepted papers or in some cases for submissions. I think this model (ACP) works rather well for larger well established journals and publishers. For smaller, maybe newer or national journals charging the author might not be a working model. I have experiences from a national (Finnish) journal that is published by a learned society, and in this case the journal is dependent on public support for national scholarly publishing.

Open Access = Open Access for everyone?[Bearbeiten]

  • How can access to OA publications be assured for everyone? Is that even possible?
  • What kind of channels for distribution need to be created?
  • Even though they are freely accessible - are OA publications visible enough?

Turid: I believe that a good distribution channel is needed, for example the Directory of open access journals DOAJ has been a good support for visibility of OA journals.

  • Can OA really help to democratize access to scholarly information?
  • Does it also help to democratize discussions about scholarly research and its results?
  • What about licences? Do they come in handy from time to time or are they solely barriers?

So futuristic?![Bearbeiten]

  • Should we see OA as a watershed and say good-bye to the old world of printed publications within the next 10-15 years to come?
  • Is OA a means to build bridges into a brave new world of open science?

National discussion[Bearbeiten]

  • What do you find the most interesting approach to managing the challenge of OA in your country or another country you are familiar with?
  • Where do you see specific national problems regarding OA? (Traditional culture of publishing, prejudices, etc)
  • Is OA even discussable in a national discourse or should we solely focus on the international discourse?
  • How can we develop an international foundation based on the law that helps establish a stable position for OA-publications?