KI has an updated OA-policy – at last
There is no doubt about the importance of open availability of knowledge, information and data to all and everyone. Access to knowledge is a human right. That is vital for the success of research work. The prerequisite of the creation of new knowledge is that previous, even the most recent research results are findable, accessible, interoperable and reusable (FAIR) for all. It is well known that this will lead to the highest possible quality of the scientific work.
However, the road to open access is windy and rocky. The reason for this is that there are so many different actors involved in the field with their various, partly contradictory interests. Many European and even global research funders have acted and are now demanding open accessibility of the research they are financing. This is one of the main reasons for the ongoing gradual change in the scholarly communication landscape. It has caused some press to the commercial actors, mainly to the traditional publishing houses, to change their business models. Now in Sweden, the amount of research output that is openly available is higher than ever before. Economically, however, this change has not been as successful. The transformative license agreements are causing very high expenses for researchers and research-intensive institutes like KI. We pay today more than ever to the commercial publishers, not least because of the central role of the so-called hybrid journals within these agreements. There is some optimism that this situation is temporary. This remains to be seen.
Policy documents are needed to guide in the complex landscape of scholarly communication. There really was a need for a new OA-policy at KI. So much has happened during the last ten years. In the previous policy document, KI had a recommendation for OA, in the new one open availability of the publications is required. This has to be done, where possible, immediately in conjunction to publication.
At the KI Library, we will work hard for the open future of research and education. Although, the price for that must be reasonable and transparent to everyone. Because of this, there must be various ways to openness, the landscape must be more diverse than we recently have seen in Sweden. The control of the intellectual output must be returned from the commercial actors to the academic community. The new OA-policy helps us to move towards this goal!