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Open Access and academic social networks can ensure greater access to research results

“Open Access and academic social networks can ensure greater access to research results”
Name: Laurent Carraro
Position: Director
Institution: Arts et Métiers ParisTech
Country: France
More info: Home Page

An interview with Laurent Carraro on 11 January 2016

What got you originally interested in Open Access?

I had the opportunity to participate in the free flow of work, i.e. where documents were openly accessible within a multidisciplinary industrial consortium. The group was working on the calculation of uncertainties in computer codes used in very diverse sectors. Resulting applications remained the intellectual property of industry, although methods were initially shared within the consortium and then released after an embargo of six months. Software was published under a free license. This experience showed me the value of the multidisciplinary dissemination of science.

What Open Access activities are you currently involved in?

I am calling for a vote in our Scientific Council for the mandatory deposit of publications of the researchers of my institution.

Why, in your opinion, do we need Open Access to research?

There are two reasons for why we need Open Access. First of all, Open Access stands for democracy: it is essential that the whole of society has free access to information in a time where the societal impact of research is more and more important. In addition, we need to provide democratic access to information coming from citizens.

“Open Access stands for democracy: it is essential that the whole of society has free access to information in a time where the societal impact of research is more and more important.”

Secondly, Open Access can improve the overall efficiency of our research system, where many innovations happen when researchers from different fields work together. Open Access allows us to switch from the logic of one specific knowledge chain to a much broader logic. This allows for broader dissemination, one that goes beyond the original communities, encouraging knowledge transfer from one sector to another that creates new value.


Can Open Access have a positive effect on research careers?

Online Open Access publication and the resulting downloads that can increase citations is rewarding for the researcher’s career.

What can scholars and/or administration do to promote Openness to research?

Voting for the mandatory deposit in an institutional repository allows an institution to demonstrate its commitment to promoting Open Access.

“Mandatory deposit in an institutional repository allows an institution to demonstrate its commitment to promoting Open Access.”

Researchers are involved in their institutions, and one of the contributions they make is their publications. Authors should make a habit of depositing their publications once their articles have been accepted to a journal. Researchers and their institutions should formally recognise that this deposit is part of the publishing process


Who do you engage with to spread the OA message, and how?

Both the director of research and the director of the libraries are particularly involved in spreading the OA word. The director of research uses the institutional repository for calculating bibliometric indicators for the institution. Librarians train and support researchers to deposit their publications in the institutional repository and raise awareness around Open Access.

What are the challenges with advocating Open Access?

The challenge for our institution is to gain more international visibility for its publications. Two thousand articles deposited in our institutional repository called SAM were downloaded over 300,000 times in 2015, mostly from the USA and China. The repository is an important opportunity to promote the research conducted in our laboratories.

What still needs to be done to get more Open Access to research?

The current publishing business model is no longer purposeful. Open Access helps look at things differently. In addition, researchers have very much shifted to using social research networks in a short space of time, which shows both their ability to rapidly evolve their practices but also their desire to raise awareness of their work. This practice is in the spirit of Open Access and can accompany OA to ensure greater access to research results.
Tags: OA, Open Access, accessibility, advocacy, apps, bibliometric indicators, business models, career development, citations, citizens, collaboration, committment, democracy, downloads, efficiency, embargo, free, industry, innovation, institutional repository, intellectual property, knowledge transfer, mandates, mandatory, multidisciplinary, publishing, sharing, social networks, societal impact, society, software, value, visibility

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