Posts Tagged knowledge divide

Addressing the scandal of the knowledge divide

An essay by Jean-Claude Guédon, Open Access and the divide between “mainstream” and “peripheral” science, was posted recently (July 23, 2009) at Mesa Redonda sobre Patrimonio Intelectual y Conocimiento Libre. [Apparently, this is a website supported by the Government of Venezuela – Google translation from Spanish to English: “Roundtable on Intellectual Heritage and Free Knowledge”]. A short excerpt from the latter part of this interesting essay:

This paper identifies the facets of the Gold and Green Roads that make sense in addressing the scandal of the knowledge divide. It brings to light essentially two fundamental strategies: on the Gold side, fully subsidized journals that do not financially penalize authors from poor countries, or do not submit them to humiliating forms of pleading for special treatment are essential. On the Green side of Open Access, the way to create symbolic value in competition with what presently supports the divide barriers is to organize a coherent system of institutional and thematic repositories. The former are charged with collecting and preserving all that they can and want to preserve. It is through institutional repositories that depositing mandates should be implemented as mandates can originate from a variety of institutions with some political clout, universities, research centres and granting agencies among them. However, it is through thematic repositories that the (research) wheat can be separated from the chaff and it is through them that various forms of new and useful forms of symbolic value can be created.

This essay had been deposited previously, as an eprint of a book chapter, in the E-LIS repository. The eprint was last modified on November 19, 2008. The citation indicates that this book chapter was expected to be “forthcoming in 2007, in Portuguese“.

Blog items (apparently, about an earlier version of the eprint) were posted by Peter Suber (OA for mainstreaming peripheral science) on December 1, 2007 and by Heather Morrison (National open access journal subsidy) on December 1, 2007. The eprint has been cited on CiteULike, and a version is also available via Scribd, posted on August 18, 2008 (see: http://bit.ly/coRCx).

The version posted at the Venezuelan site has generated some recent interest on FriendFeed. See, for example, http://ff.im/5If9y (July 25, by Bill Hooker) and http://ff.im/5NDNw (July 27, by Bora Zivkovic). Recommendation from Bora Zivkovic: “[Essay] by Jean-Claude Guédon is a Must Read of the day“.

Comment: An excerpt from Heather Morrison’s blog post is noteworthy:

Scielo is an excellent example of what can be accomplished through a nationally subsidized open access program. While the Scielo portal encompasses the scholarly work of many latin countries, Brazil alone, in 2005, brought 160 fully open access journals to the world at a very modest cost of only $1 million dollars.

Canada is experimenting with subsidized open access journals, through the Aid to Open Access Journals program.

Note: The link to the webpage for SSHRC’s Aid to Open Access Journals program has been updated in the excerpt. This  program has been renamed the SSHRC Aid to Scholarly Journals program. See also: About SSHC > Policy Focus > Open Access.

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