“What’s the Big Deal with Open Access? Traditional Publishing Houses and OA” – Thoughts from Lund Online

Guest post by Melissa Holden, Open Access Business Developer, SAGE

mholdenLund Online is a two day seminar aimed at college and university librarians and teachers in Sweden, Norway, Finland and Denmark. Held a few weeks ago at Lund University, Sweden, the conference this year sought to explore the question – “What’s the Big Deal with Open Access?” focusing on the role of traditional publishing houses and the move to open access (OA).

Attended by academic librarians and vendors, the conference provides a great forum for the facilitation of debate around new resources, licences, technical development and how we can work together to better understand the OA landscape. Presentations were given by invited publishers and producers of databases, intermediaries and aggregators.

Many publishers talked about their current OA activity, their experiences with OA and adapting technologies, the current funding landscape, policies on embargo periods and the complexity around and their models to avoid double dipping – not to charge subscribers for paid open access content published under the ‘hybrid’ model within subscriptions journals.

Following a roundtable, convened by SAGE in association with Jisc last year, one of my presentation’s focuses was the results of this roundtable which sought to better understand the role that academic libraries will play in implementing gold OA article processing charges (APCs). The full presentation can be found here.

The two themes which I felt to be most pertinent from the conference were that:

  • Although the librarian cannot advise a researcher which specific journal is right for their research, they can advise faculty members about the Open Access movement, open access vocabulary, avoidance of predatory publishers and licences which comply with funders mandates, amongst other issues
  • Many attendees saw the librarian as the natural centre within an institution for administering article processing charges (APCs), especially as pre-paid deals with publishers or voucher credits for APCs are becoming more common place

What the conference highlighted to me is that there is a need for the continued collaboration between funders, government, consortia groups, libraries, researchers and publishers to find the best path for sustainable Open Access.


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