Austin Fox's personal website.

Open Access Survey Response.


I was recently asked as and OpenCon Alum to take the following survey. I thought it was worth posting with my responses(in italics).

The BOAI 15

Almost 15 years ago, the Budapest Open Access Initiative (BOAI) brought together a diverse group of stakeholders and launched a worldwide campaign for Open Access to all new peer ­reviewed research. The BOAI deliberately drew together existing projects to explore how they might “work together to achieve broader, deeper, and faster success.”

The BOAI states “Open Access” to [research] literature, we mean its free availability on the public internet, permitting any users to read, download, copy, distribute, print, search, or link to the full texts of these articles, crawl them for indexing, pass them as data to software, or use them for any other lawful purpose, without financial, legal, or technical barriers other than those inseparable from gaining access to the internet itself. The only constraint on reproduction and distribution and the only role for copyright in this domain should be to give authors control over the integrity of their work and the right to be properly acknowledged and cited.

The BOAI was the first initiative to use the term “Open Access” (OA). The BOAI was the first to articulate a public definition, which has since become the standard definition. The BOAI was the first to propose complementary strategies for realising OA, the first to generalise the call for OA to all disciplines and countries, and the first to be accompanied by significant funding.

The BOAI, with the community of stakeholders, stimulated significant progress toward the global understanding and adoption of OA practices and policies in governments, institutions, and universities worldwide.

As we near the 15th anniversary of the BOAI, we’re no longer at the beginning nor are we yet at the end of this global campaign. Again, we will take time to reflect on the values, impact, and continued relevance of the BOAI.

Which country do you live in?


What is your current education level?

Post-graduate - studying

In what kind of institution do you work at?


What does success mean for Open Access? What criteria, tests, milestones, or metrics should we monitor?

I don’t think we have really succeed until all scientific literature is free to the public and in a format that is easily accessible. I think Open Access is merely a stepping stone for the future of science and society. The question should be what is the next thing the community needs to fight for? (open data with all publications, the peer reviewlution, a unified research product database (beyond open), etc.)

Open Access is still facing many obstacles. Rate on scale from: rate from Completely Disagree to Completely Agree

5 - Completely Agree

What are the challenges still facing Open Access in 2017? (bullet points, long form or short answer)

  1. Lack of understanding of need for open by senior scientist/professors
  2. APCs <- defeats some of the purpose, contributes to 1.
  3. Peer review - while it is being challenged by some across the board it is still a who you know system
  4. The use of IF for tenure and funding decisions - again contributor to 1. but also caused by 1.
  5. We live in a capitalistic society so until open is more monetarily beneficial (why 3. is a problem) or regulations are put in place to force the issue (with the new US admin we may loose some) we are in for a tough fight.

What challenges do you or does your organization face in implementing Open Access?

From previous answer 1 and 2 for sure. While Oregon State University is doing a lot, especially with its Scholars Archive institutional repository, the lack of marketing makes it not as beneficial as it could be or worse, felt to be a burden (AKA I have to do more work - this is dumb).

Are there other communities, voices, new players, who should be actively included in the Open Access movement?

I think we are getting to the point that it may be beneficial to start educating the general public about how to look at the scientific literature and how to gain access. Instead of us scientist telling them access is something they deserve, maybe we need the public to demand it from their governments..?? I see this being done through a TV or online marketing campaign that explains how to research online what current science says about some “relevant to most people” topic/issue. Beyond that it is really something we should be teaching in primary school - we teach the “scientific method” but skip the literature review part….

Tell us about the value of Open Access in your discipline/country, or to your personal research or work.

Personally - there are oodles of papers I would not have access to if it were not for them recently becoming open. Some of these papers have allowed me to expand on old research others have helped me understand what is happening in my material processing. Discipline - Materials Science being extremely multidisciplinary can make it very difficult to understand all aspects of your research. When it comes down to it finding that one paper where someone has already figured out what is going on and explained it in general terms (rather than the deep incomprehensible chemistry or physics for example) is invaluable. Open access makes that more possible by opening the doors to more papers where abstracts are not enough. Country - I believe (or at least want too, hope was recently slightly lost) that ‘mericans are becoming more scientifically literate. With more scientific literacy many other good things are possible such as equality and truly working with our environment. Open Access is a sept toward increasing scientific literacy just by making the literature available.