Scholarship for the Public Good: Paths to Open Access Online
Thursday, February 9, 2023
4:00pm – 5:00pm
Open access scholarly literature—roughly, scholarly works that are online and free of charge for all—has developed over the past 20 years from wild idea to widespread reality. Open access journals, books, and repositories are now established parts of the scholarly ecosystem, and many consider near-universal open access to be inevitable.
But publishing itself is not cost-free, so how can open access be achieved? There are many possible paths, some now common, some more experimental. Which of these paths align with our values as researchers, and with the mission of the Graduate Center and CUNY as a whole? Which empower the research community? Which should we pursue, and which should we eschew?
The first event in the “Scholarship for the Public Good” series (learn more below) will explore various paths to open access. The event will feature three experts:
• Peter Suber (Harvard University) will describe the institutional open access policies passed by the faculties of Harvard and many other universities.
• Heather Paxson (MIT) will discuss the transition of society journal Cultural Anthropology from subscription-based to open access, and its ongoing quest to fund publication without article processing charges (APCs).
• Leslie Chan (University of Toronto) will examine high-profit publishers’ problematic approaches to open access (high APCs, vertical integration, and more).
Scholarship for the Public Good Event Series
“We believe that knowledge is a public good.” This statement of institutional values is emblazoned on the Graduate Center website. But there are many ways to interpret the statement, and many ways to enact the belief. How can we move from words to action—or to greater action—in the context of our scholarship?
• How can we ensure that the public, as a matter of course, has cost-free access to scholarly works authored by Graduate Center researchers?
• What changes could we collectively bring about if we centered our values in decisions about where we publish, peer review, and serve in editorial roles?
• How can the library and institution as a whole support these efforts and resist high-profit publishers’ exploitative practices?
• How might we reimagine “impact” and rework systems of evaluation and reward?
• How does considering these questions and contributing to these changes benefit our students, our colleagues, our fields, and the public?
Hosted by the CUNY Graduate Center’s Mina Rees Library and the Provost’s Office, the “Scholarship for the Public Good” event series will examine these questions and more, and explore possible ways that everyone in the Graduate Center community—faculty, students, staff, and administrators—can foster a positive, public-minded ecosystem of scholarship.