Last week was a significant one for UK academics and those interested in accessing scholarship; the funding councils announced a new policy mandating open access for the post-2014 research evaluation exercises. In the same week, Cetis added its name to the list of members of the Open Policy Network, (strap-line, “ensuring open access to publicly funded resources”). Thinking back only 5 years, the change in policy is not something I could imagine would have happened by now and I think it is a credit to the people who have pushed this through in the face of resistance from vested interests, and to the people in Jisc who have played a part in making this possible.
For me, it is now time to stop providing reviews for non-open-access journals.
This is not the end of the story, however… open access to only papers falls short of what I think we need for many disciplines, and certainly where we operate at the intersection of education and technology. Yes, I want access to data and source code. This is still too radical for many institutions today, for sure, but it will happen and, based on the speed with which Open Access has moved from being a hippy rant to funding council policy, I think we’ll have it sooner than many expect. Now is the time to make the change, and I was very pleased to hear the idea being posited for a pilot by people involved with the Journal of Learning Analytics, which is already OA. (NB: this is not agreed policy of JLA). On the other hand, the proceedings of the Learning Analytics and Knowledge conference are not yet OA. Is the subject matter only of interest to people working in organisations that subscribe to the ACM digital library? No… but it will doubtless take a few years for things to change. Come on SoLAR, anticipate the change!