GOAL and the Open Access Days of 2023.
The Open Access Days in Berlin are over. In keynote speeches, workshops, panels and poster presentations, the conference’s 450 participants exchanged views and experiences on shaping visions of Open Access. In short, Open Access is as alive as ever. Our colleagues are looking for creative solutions to successfully meet the challenge posed by the different forms of publication made possible by the digital world; they are also beginning to explore the importance, consequences and potential applications of artificial intelligence for and thanks to Open Access; and, of course, they are looking for ways to make Open Access more sustainable and to move beyond a world dominated by article and book processing charges.
GOAL, by contributing to the development of Green Open Access, is part of this latest wave of efforts to turn visions into tangible reality. In our talk we presented some preliminary results and showed how we are bridging the gap between our ideas and the real needs and possibilities of libraries, publishers and authors.
As the talk was recorded and will soon be available online, here is the gist: libraries can effectively help to (re)shape Open Access. Entering into dialogue with practitioner journals, which have been largely left out of the picture, means starting to change things. Small publishers and editors can have a say in how (Green) Open Access can best work for them, and their potential and importance as a means of bridging the gap between researchers and practitioners can be strengthened. The key is to be flexible and adaptable to the particular circumstances of each journal, without losing direction or ambition.
The discussion time of our talk was quite rewarding, for it reinforced the basic idea exposed in the previous paragraph. A policy, even one with limitations – no CC licence, with an embargo – is much better than no policy at all. Once a Green Open Access policy is in place, authors and librarians know what can be done with the texts, and regular workflows can be established between all three actors. And a first policy does not have to be the end of the road; it can rather be the beginning. It means that journals that were not previously part of the Open Access universe are now part of it.
Likewise, it is important to keep focusing on practice-oriented journals. They have a different publishing culture, which is an important part of the publishing culture of universities of applied sciences and of universities of teacher education both in Switzerland and Germany. Furthermore, given their focus on practitioners, winning them over to sustainable Open Access means nothing less than promoting affordable access to publications that can be of interest far beyond academic circles.
The GOAL team