20 years have passed since Stevan Harnad (ULg Honorary Doctorate, 2013) published his Subversive proposal. This 1994 call to researchers to self-archive their scientific publications remains one of the most significant benchmarks of a time when researchers began to be aware of the need to take back control of the publication of their own scientific productions.
This anniversary is an opportunity to take stock of the progress which has been made and examine current developments in the subject, discussed in this interview with Stevan Harnad by Richard Poynder. Here, he once again stresses the importance of self-archiving at a time when Open Access Gold (publication by the publisher in Open Access) remains, in the majority of cases, too costly in comparison with the current real costs of publication (Fools Gold).
This interview also highlights the fact that our Open Access model (the Liège model policy) is held up as exemplary: proof that we are on the right road (the green one).
At the start of 2014, several academic institutions cancelled their subscriptions to documentary resources. Not only to small collections, but to large periodicals held by major publishing houses. During the annual contract renewal process, some publishers increase their annual subscription rates from +9% to +42% in some cases.
Libraries cannot and no longer wish to follow this trend. (see Epidémie de désabonnements aux revues scientifiques).
Open Access offers different options for taking action to fight against this situation, while encouraging the wide dissemination of scientific publications. Whether you are a researcher, a member of an editorial committee, a librarian, and university manager, or a research centre ... Use them!
ORBi is ranked 34th out of 1746 repositories in the world - across all categories. Another leap up 13 places compared to the last rankings published in July 2013!
In the institutional rankings, ORBi ranks 25th out of 1660 (up 8 places) and 16th in the European rankings.
Encouraging results, especially when we see that of the 1680 institutional repositories, ORBi ranks just behind NASA, HAL, the University of California, Virginia Tech, CERN, MIT, Queensland, Southampton, and Minho...
Benchmarks in the field!
Files submitted to ORBi have broken the two million download barrier!
With more than 2,200 downloads per day, 2013 saw the number of downloads rising from 1 million to 2 million. Impressive growth and visibility which shows no signs of stopping.
Do you want to increase your chances of being seen and downloaded? It's simple, put your papers on Open Access. Documents submitted in Open Access to ORBi are downloaded 30 times more often than those with restricted access.
Whenever researchers stumble across an article which they can't access, it’s an isolated event which remains unreported. But what would happen if we could share all these frustrating moments and expose them, particularly to publishers?
Featuring more than 100,000 references, 60% of which are accompanied by the whole text, it can safely be said that ULg's policy on the subject is bearing fruit.
By means of illustration, and to close this Open Access week on a positive note, here are the results of ORBi in a few figures.
This analysis of effectiveness and the results from ORBi now means we can celebrate its usefulness and the use that has been made of it. It also clears the way for further consolidating the ULg's institutional publications with a view to strengthening the visibility and impact of its researchers' publications.
'ORBi brought me back to life!' This tongue-in-cheek comment from one ULg researcher captures the very positive benefits all researchers can gain from archiving their own work.
As well as providing free and quick access to current information, ORBi also provides a great opportunity to promote hidden treasures, papers that have been buried in lab drawers and hidden in desks.
The Green Road to Open Access consists of submitting the entire text of a publication to an open archive. These are publications which have been through the 'classic' publication process and which then benefit from an additional distribution channel through Open Access platforms.
When signing their publishing contract, authors should ensure they retain their distribution rights. Many authors think they don't have the option of negotiating these rights.
'I sign the contract that the publisher sends me, because I don't want to argue with them'.
However, it is always possible to negotiate a contract, and help exists to assist you with this.
The 7th edition of Open Access Week took place between 21 and 27 October 2013. This was an opportunity to promote free access to scientific information and to recall the reasons for Open Access and its importance in our society.
The points below were inspired by the debate entitled The Future of Open Access which took place on 25 September at ULg.
Initially, the OA movement stemmed from a paradoxical situation noted in the 1990s: at a time when the range of methods for distributing information were increasing at an unprecedented rate and when technology enabled documentation to be accessed in a single click, scientific literature was becoming increasingly inaccessible.
In real terms, the current method of sharing information has, with a few minor changes, remained the same since Gutenberg ... The time has come to revise this method with a view to increasing openness.
And when the law on copyright no longer protects authors but restricts their freedoms, it's time to change it. This was understood in Germany, which changed its copyright law on 20 September 2013.
As we reported previously, Germany revised its law on copyright in order to enable researchers to archive their publications with Open Access under certain conditions.