“Give Open Access and Open Science the attention they deserve”Name: Prof Astrid Söderbergh Widding
Position: Vice-Chancellor of Stockholm University
Expertise: Cinema studies
Institution: Stockholm University
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An interview with Prof Astrid Söderbergh Widding on 3 March 2016
Why the interest in Open Access (OA)?
Open Access is important from two perspectives: 1) from a global perspective it provides free and immediate access to research results, and 2) it is significant to the researcher as it widens his/her outreach and possible impact to any published articles.
What OA activities are you involved in?
I founded the Journal of Aesthetics and Culture as a result of numerous discussions with fellow colleagues. We wanted to create an interdisciplinary journal in the humanities, strongly believing in the advantages of Open Access publishing. I also welcome Open Access monographs – which I believe will remain necessary as a format – even though the number of international humanities journals is on the increase. The newly established Stockholm University Press offers researchers new opportunities to publish Open Access.
Our university library is also actively engaged in policy questions related to Sweden’s Open Access and Open Science. Questions around Open Science and Open Access are currently of great concern to most academic institutions. However, these topics are not always given sufficient or due attention as a result of their complexity.
What is your hope or vision for more OA to research?
I would clearly like to see Open Access becoming the norm.
What are the main challenges for more Open Access, in your opinion?
The challenges are also clearly evident, given that, in my opinion, large publishing houses have developed very efficient strategies to get the most out of two colliding systems. Peer review is a cornerstone of scientific publishing, and this should remain so. However, we are absurdly finding ourselves in the middle of two systems where researchers pay to publish and conduct peer review for free – peer review that grants the credibility of the whole scientific journal publishing system. In addition, some publishing houses still impose embargoes before giving Open Access to articles whilst at the same time maintaining high subscription fees. This needs to change.
Copyright: Anna Visuri, Stockholm University. Creative Commons CC-BY Licence
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