Roundtable concludes open-access variety

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A roundtable discussion including publishers, researchers and librarians and hosted by JISC in the UK has concluded that the open-access landscape will be characterised by variety.

Mark Patterson, director of publishing at the Public Library of Science explained that he saw that there have been, 'significant changes in the publishing world with several open access titles launching over the past 18 months. We are seeing a publishing system evolving and adapting to online and digital media. However, it is not just access to research articles and papers that is important it is also being able to reuse and share the content of those articles so new knowledge can be created.'

A one-size-fits-all approach is not appropriate for open access, argued Neil Jacobs JISC’s programme director for digital infrastructure: 'In some areas of physics, where a pre-print culture is normal, open access has been built around that. In other disciplines, such as in some areas of the life sciences, there are major open-access journals and repositories. Open access is not yet common in chemistry, and the importance of monographs presents different challenges in the humanities,' he pointed out.

The debate also looked at the possible paths to transition from the traditional journal model through to gold open access as well as considering the benefits of a hybrid model. There was agreement that peer review must remain a cornerstone of scientific publication, to ensure author’s reputations and the credibility of the research. Lorraine Estelle CEO of JISC Collections commented that, 'there is likely to be a mixed economy for quite some time yet because it is a global issue and unless the whole world moves to open access in a particular discipline, there is going to be some subscription for those articles that are coming from other countries.'