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Editors’ Choice: CC BY and Its Discontents–A Growing Challenge for Open Access

Recently I attended the conference of a major learned society in the humanities. I was only there for a day, and attended only two sessions: one as a panelist and the other as an observer. Both sessions dealt with issues related to Open Access (OA), and in both of them I was deeply taken aback by the degree to which the scholars in attendance—not universally, but by an overwhelming majority—expressed frustration and even outright anger at the OA community. The word “predatory” was actually used at one point—not in reference to rapacious publishers, but to OA advocates. That was pretty shocking.

More recently, in a different meeting, I listened to a presentation by the executive director of another large and important scholarly society, this one in the social sciences. His presentation was in no way heated or angry, but he made it abundantly clear that among his organization’s members there was deep dissatisfaction with significant aspects of the OA movement’s current direction.

Many private conversations before and since, often with scholars who did not want to publicly express anything that might be construed as objection or resistance to OA, have only reinforced the messages I received in those meetings.

What is the nature of the concern? Why would these scholars and scientists—academics who value the sharing of knowledge and who want to see the benefits of scholarship spread as broadly as possible (and who presumably want to reach as many readers as possible)—object to OA?

Source: CC BY and Its Discontents–A Growing Challenge for Open Access | Peer to Peer Review

This content was selected for Digital Humanities Now by Editor-in-Chief based on nominations by Editors-at-Large: