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Making the case for (Green) Open Access: A general view

Scholarly research is a collaborative task. Even individual projects are the result of collaboration and sharing, for they too are based on the exchange and discussion of ideas and information. If sharing is taken out of the equation, knowledge ceases to be produced, and finding solutions to challenging problems becomes increasingly difficult.

Sharing information between researchers is thus the key to research and innovation. Most of it is not shared face-to-face but indirectly. The tool to do so is the scholarly publication. It is based on two principles: First, the research findings are presented and contextualised in a way that can be understood by the peers without having to contact the author or authors. Second, this bit of organised information is distributed among the scientific community via publication in a scholarly book or journal.

It is reasonable to assume that the easier it is to access a publication, the higher its chances are to influence scholarly debates and contribute to the generation of knowledge. It is at this point where Open Access, hand in hand with the society’s shift to digital means of communication, makes its entrance. Open Access is about maximising the impact, making it as deep as possible by making publications easily findable and accessible to all and, in the end, facilitating the creation of knowledge.

Summarising, seen from the perspective of the logic that makes research possible, it pays off to publish Open Access. This is, however, much easier said than done. Research is a complex social system, and Open Access is not made possible solely by one road. There are different ways to publish Open Access, and each of them is linked with different costs and side effects.

With a thought-through promotion of Open Access, we keep in mind the final aim – to make publications freely available to all – while paying attention to the system’s complexity. The GOAL project takes seriously this complexity. It promotes the Green Road to Open Access publishing while paying attention to the views and interests of the different actors involved. What do we mean by the Green Road, which actors are important to us, and how do we plan to promote the Green Road is something we will share in further posts and sections of our website. Do not forget to visit us!

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