Implementing Open Access: Policy Case Studies
October 14, 2010
Implementing open access is a tough job. Legitimate authority, sufficient resources and the right timing are crucial. Pioneers, role models and flagship institutions all have faced considerable challenges in meeting their own aims and achieving a recognized success. Professionals charged with implementing policy typically need several years to accomplish significant progress. Many institutions adopting open access policies probably need to do more, much more, if the commitment to open access is to be meaningful.
A first generation of open access policy development and implementation is coming to a close. It is thus possible to begin evaluation. Evaluating implementation establishes evidence, enables reflection, and may foster the emergence of a second generation of open access policies.
This study is based on a small number of cases, examining the implementation of open access around the world. Some of the pioneer institutions with open access mandates have been included, as well as some newer cases. The emergence of the new stakeholders in publishing is examined, such as digital repositories, research funders and research organisations.
Because this is a groundbreaking study, no claim is made that the results are representative. The emphasis is on variety and on defining a methodological standard. Each case is reconstructed individually on the basis of public documents and background information, and supported by interviews with professionals responsible for open access implementation.
Implementation is typically based on targeting researchers as authors. Indeed, the author is pivotal to any open access solution. This is the ‘tertium comparationis’ that facilitates an examination of the similarities and differences across instances in an effort to build a broader policy research agenda.
In a final section, open access is placed in the wider context of the evolution of digital scholarship. This clarifies how published research results are destined to become a key component of digital research infrastructures that provide inputs and outputs for research, teaching and learning in real time.
The ten cases examined in detail are:
- Refining green open access policy: Queensland University of Technology (September 2003)
- Refining policy to foster deposit: University of Zurich (July 2005)
- National platform, open collection, decentralized policy: the HAL platform (June-October 2006)
- Maximising a funder’s impact: The Wellcome Trust (October 2006)
- Implementing open access as a digital infrastructure: UK PMC (January 2007)
- Learning from global research infrastructure: SCOAP3 (April 2007)
- Linking public access to open data: Howard Hughes Medical Institute (January 2008)
- Open access to all publications, internationally: Austrian Science Fund (FWF, March 2008)
- One policy, sixty publication strategies: Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft (July 2008)
- Open Access complements the Research Information System: The University of Pretoria (May 2009)
Number of Pages in PDF File: 35
Keywords: Open Access, Open Access mandate, Open Access policy, policy implementation, policy evaluation, digital repository, institutional repositories, research infrastructure, scholarly publishing
JEL Classification: H41, L86, O33, O38
Date posted: October 3, 2010 ; Last revised: May 21, 2014