Open Access (OA) improves dissemination

The Venue for Open Access in Sweden has been arranged every year since 2009. This years conference was held at Malmö University Library and had a focus on dissemination, open data, impact and research support. Stockholm University Press (SUP) was one of the participants in the open space area and held a poster presentation.

Most researchers today know the concept of OA, but whether they publish OA varies greatly

One of the keynote speakers at the conference, Caroline Edwards from the University of London, talked about OA “from below” among the circles of a new generation of scholars who want to bring humanities publishing in line with 21-century expectations and practices. One of the projects she is involved in is The Open Library of Humanities, an OA megajournal funded by an international library consortium, which allows publication without author fees.

Researchers prioritize high ranked journals for the sake of their career

A more traditional approach to OA dominated the panel discussion between Johan Söderman (Assistant Professor of Music Education at the Faculty of Education and Society), Per Jönsson (Professor of Applied Mathematics at the Faculty of Technology and Society) and Christel Larsson (Associate professor of Materials Science and Technology Faculty of Odontology).

Söderman emphasized how OA gives an opportunity to public education and the possibility to disseminate research to larger groups. The problem is however that in several disciplines there are no OA alternatives to some of the high prestige non-OA journals. This was often the case in mathematics and even more in odontology according to Jönsson and Larsson. Both agreed on that researchers has to prioritize high ranked journal for the sake of their career, open access or not.

The comparative advantages with open access regarding dissemination and sharing without borders and thereby potential usage seem everyone agree on. The quality issue is therefore the most important focus for open access publishers.

There is however no coherent approach to a common infrastructure for OA and research data, yet.

This is a growing area of ​​concern. At the conference we got reports from some of the academic libraries in Sweden that have started smaller project around these matters. The research libraries will push the issue forward and it will be an additional sector for the libraries to work with in different ways.

The Venue for Open Access (OA) in Sweden 2016

Next year the conference will be held at Stockholm University and it would be interesting if we could attract the researchers to the audience as well, and thereby create space for more productive meetings between academic scholars, librarians and open access publishers.

Leif Friberg, Consulting Editor, SUP

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