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OSCoffee: Unintended consequences of the shift towards Gold Open Access publishing

Tuesday 12 December 2023

Open Science Community Coffee

Unintended consequences of the shift towards Gold Open Access publishing


Only when three major statements on open access were made, in respectively Budapest, Bethesda, and Berlin, science policy and research funding got deeper involved in the open science movement, leading to the development of national open science mandates, institutional open science policies, and open science requirements for research grants. In these initial initiatives, the main focus was mostly on policy measures regarding open access to scholarly publishing. In this Open Science Coffee, Thed van leeuwen will present a study in which he and colleagues aimed at a few of these policies, in particular regarding Gold Open Access publishing, and the way these have worked out. They analyzed the full broadness of results, including any unintended consequences, in line with Deborah Stone’s book “The Policy paradox”. In the book, Stone claims that undertaken policies often have paradoxal consequences, for which one did not aim at the time the policies were developed and implemented. Various actors in the system have advocated different forms of open access publishing, and our studies will unravel how publishing occurs in various forms of open access publishing (Gold as priority, Gold versus Hybrid). In this coffee you will learn that contrary to all good intentions by policy making and funders, outcomes often show that the effects of their policies have unintended, and even adverse effects.


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