Promoting open access publishing is the hard work of cultural change. Here at the University of Tromsø, some of my colleagues have put together a series of four short videos with different stories about open access. In one of them, I try to paint the big picture. Why is open access attractive and important? How does open access publishing let researchers and research institutions deliver better on their contract with society? At the end of this two-minute video, I also point to the biggest impediment for success.
A transcript of the text is given below.
See the other three videos here.
You can see another two-minute video I made on open access and the additional opportunities it creates for changing our system for scientific publishing at Two ways open access can radically reform science communication.
Transcript: Here we are in the public library in the city of Tromsø. It’s a beautiful, open building that we got just a few years ago but it immediately became one of the most important buildings in town. It’s light, it’s transparent, it invites you in. And people flock to it.
They come here and they find so many interesting things to explore. They’re looking for knowledge, for information.
The single most important thing that researchers do is add to the body of human knowledge. We discover things. And people take those discoveries and they use them to make life better, to improve society.
Our discoveries get written up and get published and get place in modern day libraries. But then, we don’t let people in. The doors are locked. We’re doing all sorts of research that people really care about. Research about life in the high north, research about oil, about climate change, about fish, about health, about how to get tourists to visit us and learn so much that they want to come back again.
We do all this research and we put it in a library and we don’t let people in. This isn’t just crazy, it’s wrong. Governments and research councils and even publishers are working together to try to change this, to make research more openly available.
But there’s one nut that they haven’t yet cracked. And that’s you: professors, researchers, post-docs, PhD students. If you’re doing research but you don’t make a decision to prioritize making your research available to everyone, this cultural change may not succeed.
So, please, prioritize open access publishing. It’s the smart thing to do and it’s the right thing to do.
And while you’re at it, please push the open access button.
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