Five Reasons to Promote Open Access and Five Roads to Accomplish it in Social and Cultural Science

21 Pages Posted: 13 Nov 2005

See all articles by Chris Armbruster

Chris Armbruster

10,000 Data Scientists for Europe

Date Written: November 12, 2005


Economists have done most to innovate scholarly publishing and communication by switching to Open Access. In cultural studies, history, law, political science and sociology, Open Access publishing is still an innovation at the margins. Yet Open Access is demonstrably the superior publishing model in the WWW Galaxy. Research networks, scholarly communities and academic tribes would do well to consider how to switch their communication and publishing to Open Access. The penalty for failing to do this will be decreased visibility and diminished impact, followed ultimately by a decline in public and philanthropic funding. For everyone, this article outlines the compelling reasons to switch to OA. Moreover, we have a common agenda when it comes to the means whereby Open Access is achieved. We will all suffer if a sub-optimal lock-in occurs and innovation spaces are blocked. Therefore, full and partial OA solutions are evaluated. There is also a genuine need for collaboration when it comes to developing the next generation of overlay services such as literature awareness tools, information mining tools and search engines.

This paper features the Budapest Open Access Initiative, the Berlin Declaration on Open Access, the UN WSIS and OECD positions on OA, and trans-national federations such as SciELO, DSpace and EPrints. It shows how economics and law (SSRN and RePEc) are moving towards OA and indicates that OA is the emerging standard in European integration research (as it is in Biomed with the Wellcome Trust manadatory OA policy). Five roads are outlined on the way to making Open Access the standard for all scholarly communication.

Keywords: Open Access, Social Science, Cultural Studies, Scholarly Publishing, Scholarly Communication, Peer Review, Open Science, Comparative Research, Globalization

JEL Classification: A00, A12, C80, H40, I20

Suggested Citation

Armbruster, Chris, Five Reasons to Promote Open Access and Five Roads to Accomplish it in Social and Cultural Science (November 12, 2005). Available at SSRN: or

Chris Armbruster (Contact Author)

10,000 Data Scientists for Europe ( email )


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