Faculty support for Open Access scholarship

As we publish a series of posts in this space about open access in preparation for Open Access Week from October 18 through 24, it seems like a good time to interrupt ourselves and note three recent articles in which faculty authors express support, in a variety of ways, for open access to scholarship.

The most extensive and most provocative of these faculty comments about open access is the article by Professor Gloria Origgi about the responsibilities of scholars and the changing world of access.  The focus of her essay seems to be the need to move past the slow and antiquated system of traditional scholarly publishing.  There is a rather tongue-in-cheek post about her article called “Let’s Stop Publishing Research Papers” in a Chronicle of Higher Education blog, and the full paper, titled “Epistemic Vigilance and Epistemic Responsibility in the Liquid World of Scientific Publications,” is here (abstract is freely available while access to the full paper requires a subscription).

A recent blog post by Duke’s Cathy Davidson extends the discussion of open access publication, without actually mentioning the term, as she considers whether blogs should “count” in tenure and promotion reviews. Davidson’s conclusion, that blogging is a kind of “service” that is indeed a valuable part of the review of the work of scholars, is, to me, a new perspective on an often-debated topic that really advances the conversation.

Finally there is this short and simple appeal from law professor Rebecca Tushnet asking candidates for academic jobs to post their work in an openly accessible forum in order to make life easier for hiring committees.  Tushnet is not advocating for radical change in the academic job market, as Origgi and Davidson arguably are, but simply wants aspiring scholars to use the available means of digital access to make it easy for those who must evaluate them to find it.

For more faculty comments about the benefits of open access, see the short videos embedded in this web page on Open Access at Duke University.