Amid Knowledge Access Concerns, the Switch of German Universities and Institutes to Open Access Can Bring Visibility
Author: Pablo Markin
Published Online: 2017-09-20
Though concerted university-level transitions to Open Access can raise competitiveness concerns, such as in Germany, ranking systems and downloading statistics indicate that Open Access can raise the international visibility of academic institutions.
While the negotiations between German universities and Elsevier, as one of the largest publishers, over journal subscription charges appear to be stalled, according to David Matthews’ communication with Dr. Martin Köhler, a lawyer involved in these negotiations, for the Times Higher Education, interlibrary article loans, rather than illegal downloading, e.g., from Sci-Hub, can represent a viable alternative to prolongating the existing contracts between this publisher and German academic institutions. […]
Though severing subscription contracts with large journal publishers may raise concerns about the long-term competitiveness of German universities and institutes, as Elsevier has done, recent research results, as the 2017 presentation of Mikael Laakso from the University of Jyväskylä shows, on the impact of Open Access on academic organizations suggest that Open Access can significantly boost research discoverability. Furthermore, in 2016 Teplitskiy, Lu and Duede have found Open Access articles to be 47% more likely to be cited in Wikipedia than their subscription-protected counterparts. Consequently, German universities switching to Open Access can be expected to both remove barriers to the discoverability of their latest findings and increase their international visibility, especially since research reputation and citations can make up to 48% of university ranking scores, such as by the Times Higher Education. Furthermore, recent data suggest that Harvard University’s Open Access repository has been experiencing constantly growing yearly content downloading rates that have already reached more than 3,558,150 in 2017 alone.
By Pablo Markin
Tags: access, article, cost-effective, discoverability, educational institutions, Elsevier, flip, German universities, Germany, Helmholz Association, interlibrary loans, Knowledge, OA, Open Access, paywall, research organizations, Sci-Hub, scientific, Times Higher Education, visibility.