Open Access Night at Kennisland

On November 2 Kennisland organised a networking event in their “Out of Office” format on open access. A screening of the documentary Paywall: The Business of Scholarship took place which focuses on the current state of Open Access publishing and showcases some fierce proponents of open publishing.

One of the highlights in the documentary are the no-nonsense statements from Alexandra Albakyan, the Kazahkstani woman who founded the Pirate Bay equivalent for academic publications, Sci-Hub.

Another highlight of the documentary is the story of the academic journal Lingua, of which the entire editorial board unanimously decided to break away from publisher Elsevier: all editors resigned en-masse and went on to found the open access peer-reviewed journal Glossa. As we find out in the documentary, this step has not hurt the readership or quality of the journal at all.

Interestingly, the Kennisland foundation – who have advocated for open access in the public sector for many years and have done extensive lobbying work on copyright in the EU – are dropping copyright as one of their themes. Its leaving director, Paul Keller, writes in his final opinion piece:

During my tenure at Kennisland, the Netherlands has become a more selfish and closed society that has shed lots of traits that once made it an attractive environment to operate in. Over the years we have seen a decimation of a support system for a vibrant, experimental and optimistic cultural sector. The feeling of embracing the future and shaping it through experimentation that was still very much present when I started at Kennisland is largely gone, displaced by a sheepish admiration for disruptive innovation that cherishes individual responsibility above collective imagination and solidarity.

The documentary Paywall: The Business of Scholarship is available under CC-BY license and can be viewed from their website.

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