Open Access in the Social and Political Sciences: A Surprisingly Difficult Issue

4 Pages Posted: 21 Aug 2014

See all articles by Jennifer L. Hochschild

Jennifer L. Hochschild

Harvard University; Harvard University - Harvard Kennedy School (HKS)

Date Written: 2014

Abstract

This outline contains notes for my presentation on a roundtable, so it consists of more questions than answers. The benefits of open access seem clear and persuasive; who will pay the costs is much murkier. In fact, the question of costs raises not just technical and economic issues but surprisingly difficult normative and distributive concerns. The costs of OA may be borne by individuals and their funders, organizations such as universities or foundations, the government, publishers, or professional associations. Each method of covering costs benefits some and harms others, whom we would not otherwise seek to harm. In the end, we may have to choose between more but less well-edited articles, on the one hand, or fewer and better-vetted articles, on the other; which goals, or perhaps whose goals, should predominate is a choice of values rather than technique.

Keywords: open access, redistribution, professional associations, publication, publishing costs

Suggested Citation

Hochschild, Jennifer L., Open Access in the Social and Political Sciences: A Surprisingly Difficult Issue (2014). APSA 2014 Annual Meeting Paper. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2454710

Jennifer L. Hochschild (Contact Author)

Harvard University ( email )

1737 Cambridge Street
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United States
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Harvard University - Harvard Kennedy School (HKS) ( email )

79 John F. Kennedy Street
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

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