Open and Evolving Scholarship

From: Heather Morrison <hgmorris_at_SFU.CA>
Date: Sat, 16 Jan 2010 17:38:58 -0800

In assessing current open access policy, it is advantageous to
consider where scholarship is heading in the future, rather than
basing current decision-making on artefacts of the past.

For example, to take full advantage of the emerging potential of the
internet for scholarship, it is desirable to embrace multiple versions
of a research piece. Depending on the researcher's preferences, this
can involve open sharing of the research question, preprints and peer-
reviewed post-prints, or facilitating alternative versions including
translations and custom versions for different audiences, through
libre open access.

This is not to say that OA policy needs to require this kind of open
sharing. All that is required is green open access to the author's
final peer-reviewed postprint, immediately on acceptance for
publication and with minimal or no delay to open access. The main
point rather is that there is no need to consider one version of a
research piece as the one and only authority.

Benefits of open sharing of multiple versions include:
- the potential for early peer review. If the research question or
design needs work, why not find out before the research gets started,
rather than wait until it is done and the paper is written?
- the open access citation impact advantage
- alternative versions, including special versions for the print
disabled, translations, scholar's blog or YouTube versions

Embracing multiple versions takes a learning curve for citations - but
this is not as steep a curve as one might think. Here is a simple
rule of thumb: cite what you read. If there is a good reason to cite
another version, too, include both in your citation. For example, if
you cite a locked-down subscription article, it is a good service to
readers to point to a free copy whenever possible. Or, if you read
the free copy, cite the subscription journal version.

This is a brief version of a blogpost which can be found at:

Heather Morrison, MLIS, PhD Student
The Imaginary Journal of Poetic Economics
Received on Sun Jan 17 2010 - 02:29:34 GMT

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