hyde park debate

by | Nov 3, 2022 | 0 comments


The subject of the 2022 Hyde Park debate was

Resolved: Transformative Agreements Represent the Best Possible Mechanism for a full Transition to Open Access

Moderator: Rick Anderson, University Librarian, Brigham Young University

Debaters: Pro: Carrie Webster, VP, OA, Springer Nature; Against: Stephan Kuster, Head, Institutional Relations, Frontiers

Opening Audience Poll: 65% agree, 35% disagree

Carrie Webster: Best means the most achievable sway to enable a transition. Transition enables equity in distribution of funds. Options: nothing, only support fully OA journals. Do nothing is too slow. Only supporting OA journals is an interesting idea, bu how would you do it? Will all institutions be able to switch overnight to APCs?

How do we move to a fully OA future? Transformative agreements support and enable OA across all disciplines, enable distribution of funds to all participants? They are working. Researchers are hot choosing where to publish by whether a journal is OA or not; they choose when a journal’s reputation is relevant to the research they are doing. Transformative agreements provide equity across disciplines. Some disciplines will be easier to transition to OA. OA creates a level playing field for everything. With a transformative, agreement, you can make your research immediately available. They help manage the distribution of funds. Pace is the key; if we flipped everything tomorrow, European journals would be OK, but US ones would not. Over 300 agreements were reach with over 40 publishers.

Stephan : How can transformative agreements be the best possible; they are marketing agreements. The global publishing market is an oligarchy. Transformative agreements often allow authors to publish without paying APCs. More than 1/2 of journals enrolled are falling short of their goals. We face threats from climate change and global collaborations. When we trust and share research globally we can save lives. The public pays for research and 2/3 of it is locked behind a paywall Who does this motion serve? Is it the best possible for authors? Are the agreements contributing to more sharing of knowledge? The 2 top publishers are fully OA. Fully OA publishing costs less than paywall publishing. This motion does not serve society at large. Transformative agreements perpetuate science for the few not the many. Better alternatives exist; fully OA is working better. Fully OA publishers have shown that they can thrive on day 1 of going OA. Scientific authority comes from the public acceptance of the research around it.

Carrie: What is possible, achievable, and the best way to implement a transition? Transformative agreements are not a marketing mechanism. They are not slowing transformations; the agreements are complex.

Stephan: The proposition should be “let’s do something better”. In the eyes of policymakers, too much time has already passed. Much historical research remains locked away; agencies should set the policies they want.

Closing poll: 44% agree, 56% disagree

The winner of the debate was Stephan.

Don Hawkins


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