On the 15 – 17 September, a very rainy Amsterdam played host to the 7th conference on open access scholarly publishing (COASP), organized by the Open Access Scholarly Publisher’s Association (OASPA). It presented an opportunity to hear the latest in open access from speakers in academia, publishing, industry groups, charities, and government research funding.
Innovation was one of the central themes of the event, and not just in open access – many publishers use their open access portfolios to pilot new ideas in publishing. Research Involvement and Engagement is a new, open access journal published by BioMed Central, that has both academic and patient-advocate editors, nicely demonstrating how open access can result in engagement with communities who might otherwise be excluded from the scholarly conversation. As for open access innovation, Bryan Vickery of Cogent OA presented on their pay-what-you-want model, Freedom APCs - a new approach in author-pays open access.
Developments in open access are just one part of the wider movement towards open scholarship. Talks from Kaitlin Thaney of the Mozilla Science Lab, Jonathan Gray of Open Knowledge, Ron Dekker of Open Access Netherlands and Marcus Munafo of the University of Bristol all reflected on this issue. Kaitlin Thaney asked us to think modularly about creating tools and resources that can be combined in interesting ways to create new ways to understand the world, and to think beyond just access to usability. Marcus Munafo relayed his experience of running an experimental psychology lab, and emphasized that practicing open scholarship enforces the practice of good scholarship, as you must be confident at every stage of the process that your methods and data can stand up to external scrutiny.
In addition to speaking about open scholarship, Ron Dekker spoke about open access policy in the Netherlands. Following the principle that publicly funded research should be available to the public, and with the desire of improving the transfer of knowledge in society and to business, the Dutch will make open access a focus of their European Commission Presidency in 2016.
In rounding up the conference, Caroline Sutton of Co-Action Publishing noted that we have a collective responsibility for the future of the scholarly communication system, and that open access is fundamentally about accelerating and improving the quality of scholarship. We all need to take an active role in shaping the future of open.