Open Access Running Head: THE OPEN ACCESS MOVEMENT


The Open Access Movement: History, Initiatives, and Future Implications Robyn Ward Emporia State University LI866XO: Copyright

Open Access The Open Access Movement: History, Initiatives, and Future Implications Open Access (OA) is the free, immediate and unrestricted online availability of scientific research primarily published in peer-reviewed journals. The Budapest Open Access Initiative (2002) summarizes it best:


By "open access" to this literature, we mean its free availability on the public internet, permitting any users to read, download, copy, distribute, print, search, or link to the full texts of these articles, crawl them for indexing, pass them as data to software, or use them for any other lawful purpose, without financial, legal, or technical barriers other than those inseparable from gaining access to the internet itself. The only constraint on reproduction and distribution, and the only role for copyright in this domain, should be to give authors control over the integrity of their work and the right to be properly acknowledged and cited (¶7).
Events, initiatives and key players will be discussed and presented in this paper in order to understand the history and future of the Open Access Movement. The implications of Open Access will be addressed regarding current publishing structures including copyright and licensing issues, traditions of academic research and publication, and public access to information. It is also worth recognizing that Open Access will play a greater role in the publication of other digital works as well. Why and How Open Access Came to Be A meeting of the Open Society Institute (OSI) was convened in Budapest during December 2001. The purpose of the meeting was to initiate an international effort in making research articles in all of academia freely available over the Internet. A number of organizations and individuals representing researchers, libraries, publishers, journals, and universities attended the conference. Two communities that could gain significantly from OA were identified during the conference: (1) readers, or the public and (2) authors. OA gives readers the opportunity to access information to create new knowledge. OA

Open Access provides authors the opportunity for greater visibility through this increased readership


and provides a way to enhance and build upon the current research that is being done. In order to foster these two communities needs, participants in Budapest identified two distinct strategies that would facilitate the single goal of accomplishing open access of peer-reviewed journal literature. These strategies are self-archiving and the creation and support of open-access journals (Open Society Institute, 2008). Self-archiving relates to building institutional digital repositories where researchers can deposit manuscripts accepted for publication in peer-reviewed journals. Open Access Publishing will support the creation of new open access journals and get the commitment of existing journals to provide openness to their archives and current literature. Out of the Budapest Open Access Initiative came other initiatives and commitments to access such as the Bethesda Statement on Open Access Publishing (2003) and the Berlin Declaration on Open Access to Knowledge in the Sciences and Humanities (2003). The Open Society Institute (OSI), instigator of the Budapest Initiative, is a private operating and grant-making foundation, which takes great effort to influence public policy making and to promote democracy and human rights. The Open Access Initiative focuses on providing access to “content, tools, and networks to disseminate knowledge and communications resources” (Open Society Institute, 2008). Advocates for Open Access recognize that OA isn’t costless or exactly free. There are and will continue to be barriers to information, but organizations such as OSI are trying to break down these barriers. Barriers to OA are censorship or filtering, language, handicap access, and network connectivity or the digital divide (Suber, 2007, ¶15).

Open Access Journal Publishing The first publication of scholarship in journals started in 1665 with the Journal des sçavans in Paris and the Philosophical Transactions in London. From this time


forward journal publication steadily increased through the centuries. There have been two distinct historical events that changed journal publication. The first being increased federal funding for research after World War II and secondly the Internet in the mid 1990’s. (Willinsky, 2006, pp. 13-14). Regardless of format the philosophy of publication and distribution of research has remained the same since 1665: “…academic authors have strived to publish and disseminate the results of their work for two main reasons – to advance intellectual progress in their subject and to establish rights over any intellectual advances they themselves have brought about” (Ramalho Correia & Teixeira, 2005, p. 13). OA literature is made available to the public without the “expectation of payment” or in other words is “royalty-free” (Suber, 2007, ¶7). Authors are not paid to write articles for journals. This has been the case since the mid 1600’s. Publishing research in a journal is about name recognition and career advancement. Since scholars do not earn money from the articles published in journals the argument for OA is strong. Why not make these findings immediately available for use to a broader audience? And how can this be done? It was seemingly impossible in the print world even if authors wanted to provide free access to their writings, but now with the Internet and technology certain barriers have been lifted. Research for a Price There would be many that would say that libraries are facing a “serials crisis” of sorts (Correia & Teixeira, 2005, p. 14) that “threatens the basic access principle critical to the production of research and scholarship” (Willinsky, 2006, p. 18). The increased costs

Open Access of journals have paralyzed libraries. A 2004 study by the Association of Research Libraries (ARL) indicated that from 1986-2003 member libraries had increased journal budgets by 260%, but the average library’s collection of titles decreased by the end of 2003 (Willinsky, 2005, p. 24). There are now efforts to alleviate costs and find ways to


make this information accessible. Major publishers such as Elsevier do make stipulations in their licensing that allows for authors to deposit articles in an institutional repository or for an author to post on his or her website. Other sources for making publication available are through wikis, blogs, peer-to-peer (P2P) file sharing, and listservs, just to name a few. Two ways for open access journals to be delivered to the public will be discussed in this paper. These are: (1) Institutional Repositories or archives and (2) OA Publishing. An example of an e-print archive is, which is a digital repository for physics, mathematics, chemistry, computer science, quantitative biology and statistics research funded and operated by Cornell University. Peter Suber (2007) argues that every university “in the world” should have its own open access “and a policy to encourage or require its faculty members to deposit their research output in the repository”(¶ 23). Suber was also given the charge to create a model for policies in OA institutional repositories for universities and colleges. The policies attempted to cover OA journals, university presses, theses and dissertations, and promotion and tenure criteria. He identifies and talks about three key principles: "(1) Universities should provide open access to their research output, (2) Universities should not limit the freedom of faculty to submit their work to the journals of their choice, and (3) Universities should continue to bear the costs of peer review, to assure its survival, while recognizing that the forms and venues of peer review are changing" (Suber, 2008, ¶4). Most recently we are beginning to

Open Access see this development of mandated deposit of work into institutional repositories in the


United States with Harvard’s move toward Open Access with an initiative that mandates faculty to deposit pre-print research accepted for publication into the institutional repository (Guterman, 2008, p. A14). Another important development in this area is the National Institutes of Health (NIH) mandate passed into law that makes NIH the “first U.S. federal agency required to make the results of its funded research freely accessible online to the public” (English & Joseph, 2008, p. 82). Open Access Publishing offers peer-review, copyright acknowledgment, and economic viability. A few examples of OA journal publishers are the Public Library of Science (PLoS) and BioMed Central. The Directory of Open Access Journals "aims to increase the visibility and ease of use of open access scientific and scholarly journals thereby promoting their increased usage and impact" (Lunds University Libraries, 2008, ¶1). Opposition to Open Access makes the argument that OA journals are not free because the financial responsibility falls upon the author to pay to have the article published in an Open Access journal. This is only one model for providing access to OA literature. A counter argument to this is that in actuality the costs of publication fall on the researcher’s institution or professional society (Suber, 2007, ¶12). Licensing and Copyright Under Open Access, journal articles are made available by the consent of the copyright holder or through the public domain, because of this, right holders do not give up rights nor are there sticky copyright issues to deal with, such as infringement for example. There are increasingly a number of licensing options for copyright holders to give their consent to Open Access. Creative Commons and Open Content Licenses are

Open Access


excellent examples of authors managing their own levels of access and control of content that they create. With the implementation of the NIH Open Access Policy the Association of Research Libraries (ARL) has provided information regarding the implications of the NIH policy on institutions as grantees. ARL, the Scholarly Publishing & Academic Resources Coalition (SPARC), and Science Commons recently released a white paper “Complying with the National Institutes of Health Public Access Policy: Copyright Considerations and Options” written by Michael W. Carroll of Villanova University law school. The white paper can be found on the SPARC web site at The purpose of the paper is to provide administrators, legal council, and librarians the background of the policy; it’s legal context and then offers six alternative copyright management options to help institutions “assure they reserve the necessary rights for articles to be made available in PubMed Central” (Free, 2008, p.194). Open Access publishing and archiving is on the rise and there are key players weighing in on policies and issues that will directly effect scholarly publishing and how libraries and institutions will more and more play a large part in both of these arenas. These key players in the library community are identified below. Of course this not is an exhaustive list by any means. Proponents of Open Access A number of groups have emerged out the movement. One of the notables is the Open Access Working Group (OAWG) associated with Scholarly Publishing & Academic Resources Coalition (SPARC). The main concern for organizing was to "build a framework for collective advocacy of open access to research" (SPARC, 2007, ¶1).

Open Access OAWG is a politically active group involved in a number of actions regarding open access. OAWG is also made up of key organizations that aid in open access initiatives, including AALL (American Association of Law Libraries), ALA (American Library Association), AAHSL (American Association of Health Sciences Libraries), ACRL


(Association of College & Research Libraries), ARL (Association of Research Libraries), Creative Commons, GWLA (Greater Western Library Alliance), MLA (Medical Library Association), Open Society Institute, Public Knowledge, PLoS (Public Library of Science), SPARC, SLA (Special Libraries Association), and Students for Free Culture. Each of these groups is a heavy advocate of OA and have there own initiatives and policies that they back. Opposition Rudy Baum (2004) an open critic of Open Access addresses the truths and myths surrounding the Open Access movement. Baum recognizes that scientific, technical and medical (STM) literature is supported by public funding, but doesn’t necessarily agree that this publicly funded literature should be freely available to the public (¶3). Baum also recognizes that libraries are negatively affected by the increased cost of journals and admits hat libraries can barely keep up financially to provide access to journals. But he argues that this situation should not be the impetus for changing the publishing model for scientific, technical, and medical journals. To him this seems unfounded and costs are not free. "It's human nature to want something for nothing. Unfortunately, excellence rarely comes without a price. Perhaps that's the most dangerous myth being fostered by the open-access movement: that access to high-quality STM literature can be had on the cheap" (¶10). As expressed earlier there have been no claims by OA of being free. There

Open Access are costs especially for those in developing countries, the poor, those with disabilities,


and language barriers. There are huge costs for those that are affected by these roadblocks to information. There are a number of myths surrounding Open Access that should be addressed here. Open Access now, an inactive but resourceful e-newsletter published by BioMed Central addresses a number of these myths surrounding the movement. Listed are a number of these myths: “The cost of providing Open Access will reduce funding for research; access is not a problem; the public can get any article they want from the public library via ILL; patients would be confused if they were to have free access to the peerreviewed medical literature on the web; Open Access threatens scientific integrity by charging authors; poor countries already have access to the biomedical literature; traditionally published content is more accessible than Open Access content as it is available in print; a high quality journal such as Nature would need to charge authors £10,000-£30,000 in order to move to an Open Access model; and publishers would need to take copyright to protect the integrity of scientific articles” (Weitzman, 2004). Advocates for Open Access have proven these arguments to be unfounded. Further discussion of answers to these myths can be found in Open Access now. Future of Open Access The movement for Open Access in scholarly literature has made great strides over the last decade. Vehicles such as institutional archiving and OA journal publishing are becoming more prominent in the nature of scholarly publication. As these take root and spread, policies and standards will also be set to help guide institutions, libraries, scholars and publishers in providing research as soon as possible to as many people as possible. With Harvard’s OA initiative and NIH’s initiative these will be great leads and examples of other institutions to follow suite. According to Suber (2007) OA doesn’t have to be limited to scholarly journals.

Open Access He admits that it is more difficult to convince authors of royalty-producing content to provide open access to their works and he questions why music, movies, monographs, images, and software shouldn’t be made available through Open Access (¶7). These


authors have a stake in losing revenue from their work. They would have to be convinced that OA has benefits that “exceed the value of their royalties” or that “OA will trigger a net increase in sales” (Suber, 2007, ¶7). As Open Access for journals proves itself to be a positive benefit to all involved OA will spread to these other forms as well. Conclusion Open Access is a relatively new movement that can change the nature of publishing. We can be on the cusp of a great paradigm shift regarding access to scholarly information. Even with all of this, Open Access isn’t a threat to traditional publishing practices. There will always be a market for current publishing structures. It should be viewed more as a companion to traditional publishing. Publishers and authors are held harmless with Open Access. But it will continue to be a struggle to convince others of the benefits of OA archiving and publishing. There is great work ahead for proponents of Open Access. The movement for Open Access scholarly literature is making great progress in accomplishing its goal of providing free, immediate and unrestricted access to publicly funded scholarly literature. There are still a number of social, economical, geographical, technological barriers that must be overcome to actually provide completely “free” access to all. There are for profit and not for profit organizations trying to alleviate these barriers as seen by the Open Society Institute.

Open Access


Open Access is considered by many to be a human right. Open Access takes into consideration the rights of authors and creators. It does not take away rights of authors, but promotes and values copyright. It can even be argued that Open Access has been a catalyst for taking back control of authors’ rights and giving them back to the author by providing different models for copyright licensing. The future for Open Access can go beyond just the publication of peer-reviewed scholarly journals. With the success of the movement hopefully we will begin to see progress and movement with other media as well.

Open Access Bibliography Baum, R. (2004). The open-access myth. Chemical & Engineering News, 82(8), 3. Rudy Baum is a critic of open access. As editor-in-chief of Chemical & Engineering News, he took the opportunity to discuss open access and his perception of the movement. He agrees that scientific, technical and medical literature is supported by public funding, but argues that this doesn't necessarily mean that it should be freely accessible. He discusses that the increased cost of journals and the matter that libraries can barely keep up financially to provide


access to journals shouldn't be the impetus for changing the publishing model for STM journals. To him it seems unfounded and costs are not free. His views seem typical of many publishers and those deeply involved in the proprietary publication of journals. Budapest Open Access Initiative. (2002, February 14). Budapest open access initiative. Retrieved April 5, 2008, from The Budapest Open Access Initiative came about from a gathering of individuals and institutions in association with the Open Society Institute. A meeting in 2001 was held in Budapest to discuss open access of scholarly literature. "The old tradition is the willingness of scientists and scholars to publish the fruits of their research in scholarly journals without payment, for the sake of inquiry and knowledge." (¶1). It is the first initiative in response to open access and spearheads the movement forward. The initiative and website is completely focused in gaining more supporters in the movement and signing on to the initiative that spells out goals and objectives for the movement. This is an integral

Open Access resource on the subject


English, R., & Joseph, H. (2008). The NIH mandate: An open access landmark. College & Research Libraries News, 69(2), 82-85. With the passing of the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2008 (H.R. 2764), Public Law 110-161, 110th Congress (1st Session) researchers are required to submit their final version of articles to PubMed Central, National Library of Medicine's online archive of biomedical literature upon acceptance in peerreviewed journals. The article gives a brief history of the initiative and articulates three goals of the NIH initiative: (1) increased access, (2) acceleration of scientific discovery, and (3) the creation of a permanent archive of research results. The authors were very conscious of the opposition to open access and warned that this small victory for open access will not deter publishers to taking a stand and marketing against open access. Free, D. (2008). NIH public access policy compliance resources. College & Research Libraries News, 69(4), 194. David Free is the editor-in-chief of C&RL News. With the most recent NIH initiative passing into law libraries and institutions will need policies and directions on how to make research available to BioMed Central and get information regarding the implications for copyright. He breaks down the resources available that are all free and accessible. Guterman, L. (2008). Celebrations and tough questions follow Harvard's move to open access. The Chronicle of Higher Education, 54(25), A14. Ms. Guterman is a senior reporter at the Chronicle who writes about science

Open Access research, publishing and ethics. Her report on Harvard's Arts and Sciences


faculty's decision to provide the university with copies of their published articles and to give permission to post in a repository for free was balanced and provided insight into where opponents and proponents of open access stand on the issue. She interviewed key players in the open access movement such as Peter Suber one of the biggest advocates for open access. With the passing of this initiative, under a license signed between a faculty member and a publisher "any copyright assignment to a journal must include an addendum that reserves the university's right to post a copy in its repository" (¶4). This is good news for open access and advocates hope that Harvard has led the way for institutions to make similar open access/institutional repository initiatives. Lunds University Libraries. (2008). Directory of open access journals. Retrieved April 7, 2008, from According to the introduction of the website, "the aim of the Directory of Open Access Journals is to increase the visibility and ease of use of open access scientific and scholarly journals thereby promoting their increased usage and impact" (¶1). Discussion regarding a platform on which to make open access journals available was discussed at the First Nordic Conference on Scholarly Communication in Lund/Copenhagen. A number of "musts" were articulated by the participants of the conference that were identified as extremely important when creating a directory of open access journals These "musts" included: a way to monitor quality control, i.e. peer-review, scientific and scholarly subjects from academic, government, commercial, and non-profit private sources, submissions

Open Access of articles would be accepted in all languages, and all papers must be full text accessible. The Directory is thriving with around 3300 journals in the directory. Open Society Institute. (2008). Open access initiative. Retrieved April 5, 2008, from


The Open Society Institute is a private operating and grant-making foundation. It aims to influence public policy making and to promote democracy and human rights with social, economic, and legal reform. The Open Access Initiative falls under the Information Program Initiative, which is focused on providing access to "content, tools, and networks to disseminate knowledge and communications resources. Ramalho Correia, A., & Teixeira, J. (2005). Reforming scholarly publishing and knowledge communication: From the advent of the scholarly journal to the challenges of 0pen access. Information Services & Use, 25, 13-21. The authors discuss self-archiving and its "pivotal" role in scholarly communication. They present initiatives in a number of countries that have established self-archiving with the creation of Open Access digital institutional repositories. The article is well written and researched and gives excellent insight into the development of institutional repositories. SPARC. (2007). Open access working group (SPARC). Retrieved April 5, 2008, from The Open Access Working Group was instituted by SPARC (The Scholarly Publishing & Academic Resources Coalition) at a meeting held in Fall 2003. The impetus for organizing was to "build a framework for collective advocacy of open

Open Access access to research" (¶1). The website gives goals, objectives, actions, contributing/participating institutions, and updates on activities in which the OAWG is involved. Suber, P. (2007, June 19). Open access overview: Focusing on open access to peerreviewed research articles and their preprints. Retrieved April 7, 2008, from


Peter Suber is an authoritative voice and advocate for open access. This web page provides a basic, thorough introduction to OA. Currently the movement of open access focuses on peer-reviewed research articles, but boundaries shouldn't be set of OA to just these. The author makes the argument that monographs, digital content, music, images, multi-media, and software should be included in this as well. Suber also dispels myths and misconceptions surrounding OA and makes good solid arguments against these. Suber, P. (2008, April). Three principles for university open access policies (SPARC). SPARC The Scholarly Publishing & Academic Resources Coalition. Retrieved April 5, 2008, from This is an OA position statement written by Peter Suber of Earlham University in response to a workshop the author attended hosted by Harvard's Berkman Center for Internet and Society. The model he presents is an attempt to create policies for universities on OA repositories. The policies cover OA journals, university presses, theses and dissertations, and criteria for promotion and tenure. He identifies and talks about three key principles: "(1) Universities should provide

Open Access


open access to their research output, (2) Universities should not limit the freedom of faculty to submit their work to the journals of their choice, and (3) Universities should continue to bear the costs of peer review, to assure its survival, while recognizing that the forms and venues of peer review are changing" (¶4). Suber elaborates on each of these principles and gives good solid suggestions for implementing these policies and is encouraged that it will succeed with time. Weitzman, J. (2004). (Mis)Leading open access myths. Open Access now: Campaigning for freedom of research information. Retrieved April 10, 2008, from Open Access now was a newsletter/website started by BioMed Central in 2003 to provide information and to "raise awareness" about Open Access. It is no longer published but the archive still exists and holds good information on the topic. Part of the newsletter dispels a number of myths surrounding OA brought up by publishers presenting their case to the House of Commons Science and Technology Committee Inquiry into Scientific Publications in Winter 2004. The newsletter does a good job at addressing each myth that arose during the hearing and coming to the defense for Open Access. Willinsky, J. (2006). The access principle: The case for open access to research and scholarship. Cambridge, Mass: MIT Press. John Willinsky is Pacific Press Professor of Literacy and Technology and Director of the Public Knowledge Project at the University of British Columbia. In the book Willinsky argues that scholarly publishing relies upon “right to know” and “right to be known” (human rights and vanities) (p.21). In his own words "this

Open Access book is concerned with the value and viability of opening access to knowledge, and by that increasing access and improving access to the journal literature, largely through the use of the Internet" (p.27). The Access Principle is a tremendous resource in learning about OA. The author gives great insight into many of the issues associated with OA such as copyright, economics, research, human rights, public access to knowledge, and publishing.


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