Daring to dream of Universal Open Access

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Daring to dream of Universal Open Access
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This talk will discuss recent developments with an amalgamated model for open access based on library and funder support that holds out some promise for addressing the current need for universal open access. The talk will consider the calculus underlying the model; in relation to precursors (e.g., SCOAP3, OLH, Knowledge Unlatched, Gates’ Chronos) and its advantages of the model for researchers, libraries, funders, societies, and publishers. The talk will also take into account the global dimensions of such a model; it will report on current initiatives in implementing it in the social sciences while considering its implications for the sciences.
i do believe that we are at a historic moment to an open access to and that's indicated again on the stage the fact that to a wily springer taylor and francis and the other publishers are sponsoring and event.
and open access signals things have changed so that when i started all of those decades ago these publishers were not sponsors have open access so all credit to them.
for realizing the value of open access and that value doesn't just go back the two decades that i've been working on this project the value of open access goes back to the very beginning of scholarship but let me go back to just live in its let me just start with live in it since were here at his home. i started working on live in its in the ninety's i first came to my attention and that heyday of of the internet that exciting time when we were all on the entrance ramp to end a to open access the internet superhighway of information everything was going to be possible and live in its came to my attention. can you. because he thought about the possibilities of knowledge because live in its his goal was to bring together all of the forms of knowledge that he had a concept of the universal behind knowledge now in the ninety's when i first discovered live minutes. it was rather breathtaking in terms of the scope of his work it was fascinating in terms of the mining in the windmills and the calculators and everything else but what grabbed my attention. was his job as a librarian. that if he was going to work with all of the knowledge in the world in a way that would bring it together. he always had his hands on the practical issue of what book goes where of how do you organize the dukes library how do you spend the dukes acquisition budget which i understand was very generous. at the same time what attracted me to live in its was his apartment forgive me. apartment and be i don't have any of you suffer from that but live in its and this may be apocryphal i'm not sure it's true but at one point i read that he had a library to him he had an apartment in the center of the library. that the do can't afford him the building of a library around his home.
and that concept to me of living at the center of all of that knowledge was very attractive but also this idea of living with your problems of waking up each morning and throwing the door open and saying how do we organize all of this knowledge.
i'll give you a scope of the ambition of live in its. when i say organize all of this knowledge he believed he could create an hour for bet. take out of which he was going to establish an hour job or are calculus of knowledge that every concept could be represented by a symbol by a letter by an idiot graham live in its was very attracted to the chinese language. and the sense that he thought of it at least as each area graham representing a concept if we could pull all of those concepts together. into a single language then we could realize a power of knowledge that eluded us in the seventeenth century where you live in its is working and alludes us today and that same dream.
that we have not fully realize the capacity of what we know collectively as a planet. is the inspiration behind a concept of universal open access and how i want to address this is by saying we need a standard by which to measure every proposal and project to which we can apply this concept.
in a way that will help us to judge. to judge the initiatives of the government of the university and to think about is this going to contribute to universal open access not open access in brunswick or saxony not open access and germany or europe but universal. really. which means the planet. i want to come back and be held to that standard but let me do a little bit more of this history and they give you in fact a quote of live minutes that i have here all concepts and things can be put into beautiful order. there's a lovely mathematical sense to that the idea of putting ideas into order. but what that sense doesn't give you is the sense of purpose what we need to keep in mind is why we want both this access and this order. and the idea is is that there isn't an realize capacity there is an ability to put together ideas in a way that we haven't before we solve all of the world's issues know the university does not want to make that promise. live in its is windmills failed. the mines were not kept free of water. but the idea that we can begin to realize new associations new concepts new ideas. is the possibility and the idea that everyone can participate is the greater promise that what's important about universal open access what's important about live in it says geremi is that it is open to everyone and that potential has never been more. a real it's still dependent on an internet it's still dependent on conductivity and infrastructure. but it is far more global and it wasn't live in its his time and far more global than it was in the twentieth century. i now live in its is famous for a phrase that we're living in the best of all possible worlds voltaire made great fun of this concept of the best of all possible worlds when there were such disasters and have continued to be but there's an interesting. the logical twist to the best of all possible worlds but i want you to consider and that is that the best of all possible worlds can actually be made better. that it is not a logical contradiction to say that while we may live in the best of all possible worlds many of us are figuring were living in the only world we've got and others of us especially living in the united states right now are saying. this is the best possible world. but underneath that is the sense that the best can always be made better and the efforts to do that. we have to be careful about so i want to be enthusiastically utopian ideal his stick but i don't want to be naive. and so i wanted to do some of that critical edge but let me give you an example of how that enthusiasm is taken different forms. let's leave aside the baroque for a moment or two of the what a beautiful kind of modernization of the baroque right here under natural light. what a treat. but what happened in the twentieth century are a couple of interesting turns h. g. wells do we know the science fiction writer h.g. wells a few nods in the audience war of the world's h.g. wells h.g. wells had a concept of the world brain. now it's not the best kind of term for it. it's not universal knowledge it's world brain and you think of the planet and kind of the cranium but it caught on and he had a concept of a global encyclopedia and was definitely thinking beyond europe. and euro centrism in the thirty's the actually the towards the end of the thirty's quite a period he puts forward the proposition of a world brain of a global encyclopedia and of course you're thinking right now that maybe we've come to a point of that but one of the people who picked. up on the world brain concept was eugene garfield when he created the citation index. garfield said that the citation index. the web of science as we know it today was a forerunner of the world brain. and where i come from it's not the heyday of the citation index that citations counts an impact factors are not the most popular measure today. and that when you aspire to a world brain kind of sensibility when you assume. that you can speak to the universal you have to be careful about the unintended consequences you have to be careful that all knowledge will end up being counted by the number of citations that you receive. you have to be careful that ideas are the point or focus of attention. but that some measure or count become as the whole value of the university of a publication and so when i talk about universal open access i want to be careful and i want to be conscious that it's going to take some interesting turn. turns not all of which i can control using garfield comes up with the citation index concept and nineteen sixty four or a moving too quickly here from the seventeenth eighteenth century now it to nineteen the sixty's whether any other periods really not start giving away my age or those decade. and it. in the sixty's we have eugene garfield citation index and we have me shelf lucozade the order of things we have the critique of knowledge and power and we need to understand in the universities that as we contribute to the order of ideas we are contributing. to the power of those ideas and when the state and the university join hands to form. some kind of global universal open access we need to remember flu coast critique. the what we assumed to be all of knowledge as if it was somehow direct from nature as if we could know the world directly as if we could perceive reality and that immediate sense. from two co's perspective now we are just ordering things we are creating in constructing a world any use his boss as the argentinian off their at the opening of his book. as a cheque as a point of laughter for his book but as a check and which board has imagines a chinese encyclopedia completely fictional but almost in the spirit of live in its who thought that mandarin would be a universal language in terms of. ups. and he talks about bush has talks about that encyclopedia as classifying the world as creating a natural classification of everything. i invite you to do a google search you can take your phone so i won't be offended. and look for ball has encyclopedia fu colo order of things and you'll see that that classification of the world a universal classification begins with it belongs to the emperor. another one he is it's included in this classification. another one is it's painted with a fine camel hair brush. and the last one is those things that at a distance look like flies.
which is only to say. that each of us is constructing the world and classifying it in a way that has implications for everyone else. and that universities like this and in libraries were your working and universities where your working you have both the opportunity and the responsibility. to classify the world but i'm asking you to do that in a way that considers the planet the globe the universal and your responsibilities and that regard that me go to the twenty first century and this dream of universal access at the turn of the century back. i was amazed if you look at the google doodle the google doodle last week celebrated the twenty first anniversary of google on september ninth nineteen ninety eight google was born. now i was thrilled by that because the public knowledge project the project i've developed was born nine days earlier. we're like twins. separated at birth google public knowledge project sergei brin jahmal in ski. the turn of that century the turn of the century were living in was a time of a dream google's aspiration was to organize all the world's information and to make it accessible. and what it did in particular for those of us in this room was anorexic shura created as an engineer google scholar. and the brilliance of google scholar the universal use of google scholar has been a wonderful thing. in the commercial and the public's sense of that index as a commercial enterprise and as a public index but the laggard in that index has been the university's the promise and hope that all of that knowledge would be accessible is not the case today. a because we don't have universal open access what we have today roughly by a number of different measures is thirty percent a third perhaps of the world's knowledge that the university produces is open access. is available globally that would live in its dreamed of. were only partly there but google built and engine to share the university is only sharing in part on a minority status wikipedia. is totally the live in its sea and dream. totally the world brain dream of h.g. wells not so much eugene garfield perhaps certainly not to go. when competing started in two thousand and one. and again it's ability and i was one of the people who said in two thousand and two in three this will never work. i am a schoolteacher by trade. and if you don't give marks or grades or incentives if you don't give authorship to editors they will never complete an assignment i had been a school teacher for ten years i knew that i was so thoroughly wrong but when you. let people construct knowledge in a way that can be shared with others when you leave a teacher out of the equation. when you make learning a gift for everyone. you get wikipedia. and wikipedia is universal in that same aspiring way except for one thing. the citations and research that it uses is not universally available that only one third of the research can be freely cited in a way that people can look at the research were just finishing now. now. little premature to announce it here but we're all friends are were here i can share this with you this isn't a public disclosure this is just between me and you if my co-authors heard me doing this no tweeting at this point close to eating. what we found with which the project medicine that is the medical part of wikipedia readers are less likely to check a citation than for the rest of wikipedia not check click on a citation. readers of the medical parts of wikipedia are very quick to look if there is a citation. but they don't click through. in the rest of wikipedia when they're looking up their sports team brad pitt nobody has it takes to click through on brad pitt or madonna wearing a microphone like this. i found that really discouraging were kind of wrestling with it right now how do we explain people are less interested in using wikipedia as a gateway to research because research has given people a message that says we're not yet available it's a one third chance. it's you might get through. which you take a train. across germany when you had a one third chance of or you would ok sorry i don't live here i don't know this it is worse than one third. well for with it's good to keep that in mind where i come from we don't do that. their airports where you get a delay but you still get on the plane eventually. so this idea that we haven't yet fulfilled the promise that the public has come to us and said we want your work in wikipedia we want to use that authority and they are using the authority people are looking. but you're not letting us treated as a gateway you're not letting us have that universal access so all of the world can begin to take advantage of the work that we do in universities. and that is the challenge for us and that's why i'm ready to risk to close wrath. and order to promote universal open access in order to say. the wily and springer and taylor and francis and other publishers is what you're proposing for open access universal can everyone participate on the basis of your proposals. now it's easy for me to challenge others what are we doing in the public knowledge project this project from two decades ago. older than google by nine days apparently. we're working with publishers are principal contribution to create universal open access was to build a tool a series of tools we developed a publishing platform in an open source software package to make it freely available we thought if we build the. tools. everyone. would drop what they're doing. not naive remember no not naive everyone would drop what they're doing and build open access journals. all over the planet. people would download the software and start new journals they would walk from nature science sell and they would start new journals. that isn't quite turned out that way we have about ten thousand journals using open journal systems but that's not good enough. so we've been working with publishers i want to share two concepts with you one very simple very straightforward.
one proposal for journals that are not with big publishers but maybe even the big publishers and then i want to share a more radical idea i want to say to you in approaching open access you need a simple all focus on what is open you need a. practical focus on how to make it open and then you need a radical consolation prize to say to yourself. if this practical simple idea doesn't work. what do we need to do what is our plan b. what radical steps could we take let me start with the simple the practical. we're working with a couple a few not a couple a few publishers smaller publishers bergeron books brill annual reviews. and a series of canadian societies canadian historical association and societies like that with the concept of subscribe to open. i want you to see how little this changes how simple this can be hold that expression in your head subscribe to open. think about the word subscribe in english. it means paying of the yes to the new york times to nature but subscribe also means getting behind an idea you can subscribe to ideas. and libraries have always subscribed to the idea of openness. libraries have been bastions since the medieval monasteries since the great library of alexandria. of creating an open space for the sharing of ideas. at stanford and i'm sure it's your library anyone. can request a book at any point this is the first second week of classes at stanford a student who was in high school in june comes to stanford and on the second week of classes goes to find a book on live in its. and finds that it's signed out by professor john no doesn't find out story. sees that it is signed out drawn when screen but doesn't know that that student only on campus for eleven days can request that book and i have to deliver it to the circulation desk almost what seems to. to me immediately. on a fairly and when i demand to know the students name they will not tell me. they say to me everyone. in the library has equal access to everything in the library no matter how self-important you may think your work on live in its is for the talk you're going to give in hanover. and so the libraries have always subscribed to open. now how do we make that practical what for khan books is doing right now is sending out renewable notices for its journals in anthropology thirteen of them. can show you thirteen and thirteen journals anthropology not the reno will notice. it's only sending it to libraries that renewed last story that subscribe previously. and on the reno notice it says oh by the way when you subscribe this year. twenty twenty your subscribing to. open move your lips people show me the church or the sync with me here. their subscribing to open and the library says watch while this costs money. and it says underneath. you're not reading the form properly. it doesn't cost anything more than renewing what you did last year with a little bit of inflation actually annual reviews says five percent less if you subscribe to open. very clever then you have like you have to take this cheap choice there is no second choice but subscribe to openness five percent less for the annual reviews it's not with burcombe books publishers are experimenting with this so the librarians is what where when i get the money for this and then the form says. don't forget you paid this last year. you already have the money. how i explain this explain it by saying that the library is renewing this journal that is important to them. and the only difference is. everyone in this community in this city. in this state in this country in this world will have access. but the same price. what advantage to the library's have when the journal was locked up. well a university would make money from parking people would have to drive to know ok is parking free year. of sorry ok. many universities not free. so subscribe to open changes almost nothing subscribe to open says to the publisher if you needed extra dollars last year to publish this journal you will get x. plus inflation this year. the only difference is the journal will be open. what offers get. what they got last year nothing no one else or say it appropriate what authors get. his readership. when you take a close journal and make it opened you get readership. now disqualify in terms of open access yes as a qualifier in terms of universe so open access if bergeron thirteen june third bergman's thirteen journals. get a sufficient number of libraries close to what they got last year and renewables and the sign so far have been good. in fact what vivian burke on its a family business has told me that they're not only getting really knows they're getting thank you's. when annual reviews is told me. is that all of brazil signed on to the cap is consortia and they thanked and your reviews. and when brazil thanks you hear in the territory of the global of the universal now if a library didn't subscribe to the journal last year. how much does it cost them this year. i taught school i can wait. go like this. now there. because they're not even going to get the renewal notice either way you only get every new will notice if you subscribe. now what happens if the library say no i want to free ride. and all the library say no if it's going to be free i don't want it. then the journal doesn't go open. it's closed and the library has to pay the same amount. and they don't qualify for the subscribe to open concept and live in its frowns upon them. so subscribe to open is a pilot is an experiment. we have about seventy journals in canada that are participating we have thirteen it bergeron five annual reviews brill is not coming on until twenty twenty one everyone is waiting to see while he is asked about the outcomes.
but the concept the simplicity of the concept noted offers. who can submit to these open access journals only the germans only the dutch. go like this bank you know anyone can submit why is that because i wouldn't be putting this idea to you unless it had that quality of universal open access. dr time for one more concept but we got subscribe to open you can ask to be time for questions subscribe to open has the following qualities to recap simplicity even a subscription agents the people who sell. subscriptions like ebbs go and other groups. can participate in subscribe to open they can still get there are three five fifteen percent because they're now subscribe to open subscriptions. the only difference is the journal is open. now part of this i should say before going to this last idea part of this has been a new level of accountability. and that is we need to explain to libraries why we're charging what we're charging because we're asking them to participate as partners not as vendors site were not vendors they're not as consumers excuse me. we have to provide statistics to libraries to show that they're in fact using the journal. but guess what we have the technology we can track who's using the journal we can use ip ranges to know which libraries are using the journal in fact we can even grow the subscription base because when you open a journal. and and your reviews open the journal of public health for one year. they did it in a kind of awkward way that they are rethinking but they did open up for one year and they had libraries all over the world using the journal that had not previously subscribed they were able to provide documentation of the readership. for any given library. they were able to demonstrate the value of the journal to the library and when you can demonstrate the value of the journal to a library community. it's very hard for that library to say no we will not support it. or we would rather it was closed and we have to subscribe. let me share the radical idea let's imagine that that's not going to work. let's imagine for a moment what would be the next step. what i'm working on what i'm considering and this is partly because i'm a canadian living in the united states. and as a canadian living in the united states so that now to be fair i went down with the year obama was elected to do. i was quite excited. is that you pay attention. to have a country is organized in a way that not all americans do and copyright in the united states is a constitutional power the constitution grants congress the power to promote the progress of science and the useful arts. congress is allowed to grant authors an inventor's an exclusive right for a limited term to promote the progress of science. so i'm contending as a visitor excuse me i am really an resident a legal alien resin i love the alien part no link with this. i. i'm saying that american copyright law. is unconstitutional. american copyright law is not. doing anything to promote the progress of science it is doing a great deal. to descend cent of eyes to discourage wikipedia readers and others from promoting the progress of science now in germany and austria and switzerland think about your intellectual property laws think about whether there is anything in those law. was that says or recognizes that open access. is what everyone now agrees promotes the progress of science the copyright if it's going to do its job to create an incentive for people to make contributions to society through science in the useful arts. needs to recognize that open access does that better than anything. it took us twenty years two decades only twenty years. to get everyone on board with the concept that open access is the best thing for science and now the law needs to catch up because the law has caught up to taylor swift. last year. you not your not following taylor. their twenty million people following taylor swift then you're not and taylor swift. not upset with streaming. music people were streaming so taylor swift like crazy. and she wasn't getting her fair share and she said the law is out of date. the law is not recognizing streaming. i'm not getting my fair share. microphone taylor swift i'm feeling very taylor right now. and so they change the law last year the united states in a period of seven months in a congress that can't be that isn't the best of all possible congress is right now. live in it. congress passed the modern to me the music modernization act of twenty eight teen the music modernization active twenty eighteen says times have changed we need to recognise streaming that act last year is like the twentieth or thirtieth. change because at the turn of the century in nineteen ninety eight they recognize video games. video recording. they recognised time and again movies and into me baseball games in sports cars have been part of a change to american copyright law everything has been updated in copyright law except. the constitutional imperative to promote the progress of taylor swift's music it's right there. so i think we have a case and i want to leave you with these two different directions i want you to think about what on the simplest bases you can change. that your institution. so that your concept your subscription to open can be realised. whether that is sponsoring a journal. helping students set up an open access journal operate your faculty the possibility of setting up an alternative journal or with an alternative than you like a library his publisher and then the second thing i want you to consider. is the more radical concept. and that is what is the law doing to realize the benefits in the live in its even sense that we need to think about making idea is universally available because only then can everyone make however small. all or great a contribution we don't all need to be live in its see in in our scope the polymath par excellence.
but there are possibilities that have yet to be realized that the best of all possible worlds can be better.
and that universal open access. has a great deal of promise and a few points of caution thank you very much.