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ACADEMICS AND OPEN ACCESS PUBLISHING

I would like to invite opinion on an issue of immediate importance to all of us. In recent weeks I have been travelling around the UK attending university meetings to discuss my publications (Social Sciences Directory and Humanities Directory), open access issues generally and their response to the April 1st deadline for implementation of the new mandate. On practical issues, such as how open access funds are going to be administered, I have not met anybody yet that has got its house in order, which seems extraordinary since the RCUK decision was made over eight months ago and we are now six weeks to the start.

Whilst librarians are consistent and vocal supporters of reform (I was recently told that Social Sciences Directory is an ‘exemplar’ of a progressive publishing solution), the concerns of academics come up time and again. Researchers’ lack of understanding and refusal to accept either the need for change, or the new realities for UK research output in the light of Finch, is proving to be far more intractable than the supposedly entrenched resistance of publishing groups (which, whilst fearful that they will not be able to replicate subscription revenues from replacement article fees are already adapting and creating myriad new models).

Academics wish to continue to publish in high impact journals but, from April 1st, must publish in open access journals. I did some simple research into whether there is a body of open access journals that have impact factors, in the process finding this article:
http://wowter.net/2011/01/06/the-impact-factor-of-open-access-journals/
and this list of OA journals with impact factors:
https://docs.google.com/file/d/0B1rF9RcqzpowYmY3ZTdkYWItZmQ0OS00YmFiLThjY2EtMzI1MjljYmE2NTE2/edit?num=50&sort=name&layout=list&pli=1

Although the data is now quite old (from 2009) it does not fundamentally alter the fact that, in many subject areas, there are not yet OA journals with impact factors.
So here’s the rub. How are librarians going to make recommendations about reconciling this problem? This would be a valuable discussion and I welcome comments.

DAN SCOTT

Social Sciences Directory and Humanities Directory

Email Dan Scott: dan.scott@SOCIALSCIENCESDIRECTORY.COM

Originally from LIS-SOCIALSCIENCE@JISCMAIL.AC.UK

Social Sciences Directory: http://www.socialsciencesdirectory.com/index.php/socscidir/index or http://www.socialsciencesdirectory.com

Humanities Directory: http://www.humanitiesdirectory.com/index.php/humanitiesdirectory or http://www.humanitiesdirectory.com/

**END**

Cold Hands & Quarter Moon, ‘Stagnant’ at: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GLjxeHvvhJQ (live, at the Belle View pub, Bangor, north Wales); and at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YkP_Mi5ideo (new remix, and new video, 2012)

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