As I share in my weekly reflections journal, I went to the Open Access presentation at the Library. It was very interesting, I thought I knew about it but I realized that I knew very little. I have heard that current publishers are taking advantage of the system unfairly, and I understood the reasons. I did not think about the process of government giving grants for researchers to develop new knowledge. And then this knowledge, since it goes to private publishers, has to be re-bought by the government from these publishers. This seems like a very silly (for not say a corrupted system). Also, those practices of not allowing universities to talk to each other about the charges they get to access these journals. This is just a way to manipulate universities. Couldn’t the government sign a bill to regulate this? If not, shouldn’t the government promote that all public money that goes for research should be published in places accessible for everyone? At least for everyone in that country. Maybe universities do not have the “need” or they lack of the determination to gather together and form a strong group to advocate for this knowledge to be of easier access. Maybe we should look to Germany higher education institutions and the fight they are having with Elsevier in order to make them reduce their fees. It is a strong and most of the time unfair fight, but if we don’t get together to advocate for our rights, this fight will never be won.
I talked to my professor about this, and he seemed not interested at all to increase his participation in this. I mean, he knew about open access, and he told me about it, but he was also interested more in the other more “traditional” journals than starting switching to new ones. I think that this will take some time, but we should make it a priority as future professors.