26 October 2017

Open Access Week: Author's Experience with Hybrid OA

I recently asked David James Cantor, Director of the Refugee Law Initiative, about his motivation to provide open access to an article of his published in the Refugee Survey Quarterly. Here is his reply (note: if you are not familiar with the concept of "hybrid open access," read this blog post first):

"In 2014, I was working on one of my UK Research Council (RC)-funded projects and had submitted the paper to the RSQ. The cost of publishing open access (OA) with the Oxford journals was prohibitive and I did not seriously consider it until the RC - in order to encourage universities and academics to think about publishing on an OA basis - made a bloc grant to the university to which academics could apply in order to secure the funds to make one publication from an RC-funded project OA.

The grant required applicants to carefully justify why the particular publication merited the funds to make it OA. My application was approved on the grounds that the research piece - the first to describe and analyse serious new dynamics of forced displacement in Central/North America due to organised crime - had the potential not only to make a novel contribution to the field of study but would also engage interest beyond a purely academic readership.

It was this latter point that most interested me, as the study had direct practical implications for policymakers and practitioners developing a response to this displacement crisis. Whereas the project design required that the outputs be published in a high-quality academic journal, the purchase of OA provided a route for making the research and its analysis accessible to a wider audience that included people working in those sectors. Given the research was publicly-funded, public access to the results was also important as a point of principle."

Thanks, David!

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