Blog Post

Breakthrough on Open Access

Five leading universities have signed a compact that subsidies open access journals---and that will have an impact and repercussions throughout the worlds of scholarly publishing and in provost's offices everywhere.  Today, I'm meeting with Duke's own Digital Futures Taskforce about our own draft open access policy and we hope also to discuss this new development.   There's a great piece with more detail and links on Inside Higher Education.


  Here's the url:

"Breakthrough on Open Access," by Scott Jaschik, INSIDE HIGHER EDUCATION


"Five leading universities announced a new "Compact for Open Access Publishing Equity" in which they have pledged to develop systems to pay open access journals for the articles they publish by the institutions' scholars. In doing so, the institutions are attempting to put to rest the idea that only older publication models (paid and/or print) can support rigorous peer review and quality assurance.

By embracing a new model, the institutions say, they hope to shift away from a system in which rising journal prices have frustrated librarians, and the lack of free access has frustrated those whose institutions can't afford many journals.

The universities involved are inviting others to join them, so that more and more institutions are clearly behind the open access movement."

Read further at:




What I find important about this is how this plays with collaboration by difference. An essential ingredient for successfully finding collaborators (it seems to me) is to work in public. Part of that is publishing in public. Peer review as a gateway to such publishing may or may not be an advantage. For example see Garret Lisi who "published" or perhaps "posted" his Physics theories in Arxiv. He has been able to attact peer review from both peer reviewed journals and blogs by his strategy. My post on Lisi frames his actions in terms of ideas we are exploring about harvesting feedback from a community.


Today announced provisions for researchers to upload their articles published in paid journals to the system's "Self-Archiving Repository" In an email today, they say:

This will make full-text articles available to the public, for free – the first application of its kind worldwide!
Currently, there is no way for researchers to access millions of publications in their full version online. ResearchGATE is now changing this by enabling users to upload their published research directly to their profile pages (a system called the "green route" to Open Access). Our publication index, containing metadata for 35 million publications, will be automatically matched with the SHERPA RoMEO data set of journal and publisher's self-archiving agreements. As a result, authors will know which versions of their articles they can legally upload. Since nine out of ten journals allow self-archiving, this project could give thousands of researchers immediate access to articles that are not yet freely available.

Our Self-Archiving Repository does not infringe on copyrights because each profile page within ResearchGATE is legally considered the personal website of the user (and the majority of journal publishers allow articles to be openly accessible on personal homepages). Therefore, each user can upload his or her published articles in compliance with self-archiving regulations. Our publication index makes every publication identifiable and is searchable. Since each profile is networked to the larger platform, the uploaded resources will form an enormous pool of research for our members. Of course, it's free of charge, like the all the other resources at ResearchGATE.

If successful, it might have significant implications for the paid journal business model.