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DepositOpen Access and Symbolic Gift Giving

Open access has changed. At the beginning of the millennium, it was portrayed in a romanticizing way and was embedded in a conceptual ensemble of participation, democratization, digital commons and equality. Nowadays, open access seems to be exclusive: to the extent that commercial players have discovered it as a business model and article fees have become a defining feature of gold open access, open access has increasingly transformed into a distinguishing feature and an exclusive element. Scientists are beginning to make the choice of a university or research institution as an employer based on whether or not they can afford to cover the article fees for publications in high-impact but high-priced journals. Surprisingly, this transformation of open access is not the subject of any noteworthy discussion in specialist or journalistic publications, but instead the ideals of the digital commons of knowledge still prevail in these venues. Even so open access is increasingly becoming an instrument that creates exclusivity, exclusion, distinction and prestige. These functions, however, are obscured by symbolic gift giving strategies and presented as altruistically staged, so that in the discourse of the open access community and in media reporting on open access, the both euphemistic and largely obsolete prosocial story-telling of open access dominates. The paper also discusses the question of whether the concept of open access was not overstrained by the hopes placed in it.

DepositGuerrilla Open Access

In the 1990s, the Internet offered a horizon from which to imagine what society could become, promising autonomy and self-organization next to redistribution of wealth and collectivized means of production. While the former was in line with the dominant ideology of freedom, the latter ran contrary to the expanding enclosures in capitalist globalization. This antagonism has led to epochal copyrights, where free software and piracy kept the promise of radical commoning alive. Free software, as Christopher Kelty writes in this pamphlet, provided a model ‘of a shared, collective, process of making software, hardware and infrastructures that cannot be appropriated by others’. Well into the 2000s, it served as an inspiration for global free culture and open access movements who were speculating that distributed infrastructures of knowledge production could be built, as the Internet was, on top of free software. For a moment, the hybrid world of advanced Internet giants—sharing code, advocating open standards and interoperability—and users empowered by these services, convinced almost everyone that a new reading/writing culture was possible. Not long after the crash of 2008, these disruptors, now wary monopolists, began to ingest smaller disruptors and close off their platforms. There was still free software somewhere underneath, but without the ‘original sense of shared, collective, process’. So, as Kelty suggests, it was hard to imagine that for-profit academic publishers wouldn’t try the same with open access.

DepositOpen Access and the Theological Imagination

The past twenty years have witnessed a mounting crisis in academic publishing. Companies such as Reed-Elsevier, Wiley-Blackwell, and Taylor and Francis have earned unprecedented profits by controlling more and more scholarly output while increasing subscription rates to academic journals. Thus publishers have consolidated their influence despite widespread hopes that digital platforms would disperse control over knowledge production. Open access initiatives dating back to the mid-1990s evidence a religious zeal for overcoming corporate interests in academic publishing, with key advocates branding their efforts as archivangelism. Little attention has been given to the legacy or implications of religious rhetoric in open access debates despite its increasing pitch in recent years. This essay shows how the Protestant imaginary reconciles–rather than opposes–open access initiatives with market economics by tracing the rhetoric of openness to free-market liberalism. Working against the tendency to accept the Reformation as an analogy for the relationship between knowledge production, publishers, and academics, we read Protestantism as a counterproductive element of the archivangelist inheritance.

DepositOpen Access & Repositorien (Open Access & Repositories)

Mit dem Ziel Zweitveröffentlichungen auf dem Wege des sog. „Green Open Access“ zu fördern und den Anteil an wissenschaftlichen Publikationen in Repositorien zu erhöhen, wurde in Österreich im Rahmen der Urheberrechtsnovelle 2015 ein „Zweitverwertungsrecht von Urhebern wissenschaftlicher Beiträge“ beschlossen. Dabei handelt es sich grundsätzlich um eine sehr begrüßenswerte Entwicklung, nur leider steckt der Teufel eben auch hier im Detail. Infolgedessen wird im Rahmen des Vortrags – nach der Klärung einiger Grundbegriffe – insbesondere folgenden Fragen nachgegangen: 1. Welche Voraussetzungen müssen erfüllt sein, um das Zweitverwertungsrecht überhaupt wahrnehmen zu können und wie finde ich ein geeignetes Repositorium? 2. Sollte diese gesetzliche Regelung nicht greifen: Wie bringe ich in Erfahrung, ob ein Verlag das sog. self-archiving („Zweitveröffentlichung“) nicht sowieso bereits unterstützt bzw. welche Version meines Beitrags ich online zur Verfügung stellen darf? 3. Warum reden wir im Zusammenhang mit Open Access und Repositorien immer noch vorwiegend von elektronischen Hochschulschriften, zweitveröffentlichten Zeitschriftenartikeln und „stand alone“-Dokumentenservern? 4. Welche Infrastruktur und Services sollten (zukünftig) im Zusammenhang mit Repositorien und Open Access-Veröffentlichungen zum Standard werden, um den Anforderungen aller an der wissenschaftlichen Kommunikation beteiligten Parteien Rechnung zu tragen.

DepositOpen access and closed discourses: Constructing open access as a development issue.

This thesis investigates the connection between open access – the free online availability and distribution of scientific and scholarly publications – and the ‘developing world’ from a post- development perspective. It takes a discourse analytical approach, drawing predominantly on Michel Foucault’s understanding of discourse and on postdevelopment studies and theory. It aims to answer the following questions: – Which notions of science, of development and progress, of knowledge as well as of information and technology are capitalised on in the open access debates and in which way are they shaped as a consequence? – Which discursive effects can be established, what are the results and of which kind are they?