This year, the illustrious Cosmos Club (whose members have included Carl Sagan, Theodore Roosevelt, and Rudyard Kipling) was the setting for the Taylor & Francis inaugural Conversazione. Funders, policymakers, society heads, industry figures, and Taylor & Francis representatives gathered together for an evening of discussion around public access and open access. Read what was discussed, and find out what the take-home messages from the event were.
What was discussed?
Speakers set the scene by discussing public access developments within the U.S., and provided their perspectives on public/open access and its implications. Attendees then considered how to address the growing perception that information is free (noting the increased absence of the coda that ‘information wants to be expensive’), how to deal with the continued growth in research outputs (and the subsequent potential for information overload), and finally – the question of ‘how can we facilitate the creation of adaptable, and long lasting infrastructure?’ to make OA work in the long-term.
What were the take-home messages?
Free access is not free of cost, variety is here to stay (although needs to be balanced against a need for efficiency and cost-saving), and there must continue to be significant technical investment by all stakeholders. Although a number of research organizations, institutions, and countries across the globe have public access or OA policies in place, there is little standardization of these policies. Subsequently, flexibility and adaptability need to be cornerstones of publisher, learned society, and institutional responses to this changing environment to make compliance with public access legislation as pain-free as possible for the research community, and to keep pace with technological and political developments.
Most importantly though, was the common agreement that further progress could not be made without collaboration – a fitting close to an event that brought together representatives from many areas of the research ecosystem.