Open Access Week is a good opportunity to look at developments in Open Access and to look into the future.
What happened to Open Access in 2022 ?
Many shared principles to be put into practice quickly
There are many points on which universities and research funding bodies agree today. By working together in the same direction, we can make these ideal principles a reality:
- Open Access must be immediate: embargo period must eventually disappear.
- Authors must keep their rights and publish under a free license (Creative Commons).
- The hybrid model should no longer be considered as true Open Access.
- Prices and contracts with publishers must be transparent.
- A research work should be evaluated on its merits and not on the popularity of the journal in which it was published.
Facing global issues such as climate change or recent epidemics, it is necessary for scientific publication to be accessible as widely and as quickly as possible.
The big good news for Open Access this year is the decision of the US government: by 2026, research publications funded by all US federal funds must be accessible to all for free and WITHOUT any embargo! Let's hope that this decision will soon be reflected in Europe and in Belgium. Immediate Open Access is the only way!
Issues to be resolved: transformative agreements, hybrid journals and APCs.
There are also points on which it is difficult to agree.
For example, the cOAlition S, if it promotes all forms of Open Access, nevertheless relies heavily on the Gold Open Access and the transformative agreements (at least until 2024) to go towards 100% Open Access. These transformative agreements allow institutions via their libraries to buy subscriptions to journals and at the same time to ensure that some of their authors' articles are published in Open Access, in return for which the journals concerned would become full Open Access within a certain period. These are therefore hybrid journals whose APCs are paid for as part of the journal access contract but which promise to become gold Open Access journals in the long run.
ULiège Library does not develop such agreements with publishers for the following reasons:
- They perpetuate an economic model that discriminates against researchers from institutions that are financially unable to set up this type of agreement.
- They do not fit into a sustainable and ethical model of Open Access that we defend.
- They reinforce the dominant position of some publishers and guarantee their profits.
- Finally, the deadline for the transformation of the journal to Gold Open Access is not always clearly defined!
What future for Open Science at the University of Liege?
On the occasion of the Open Access Week 2022, the Vice-Rector for Research, Michel Moutschen, answered our questions about the University of Liège's Open Science policy for the upcoming years.