Complexity of Stakeholders

Open Access and other developments in research and education have often been inaccurately characterised as taking place between two opposed “sides” – between publishers and institutions or their libraries.

Quite apart from the combatative nature of such a characterisation, such a picture is not helpful because of the complexity of even these two stakeholder groups (let alone the funders, and the researchers as the key players in research).

For instance, institutions often have University Presses as publishing businesses within their organisations.  There are purely Open Access publishers who have a vested interest in the success of the OA model. There are traditional publishers like Springer who claim to be happy to provide any particular access model wanted by the user community, as Wim van der Stelt explained at a recent RSP event.

It now looks like things might get even more complex, with the news that the publishers Pearson are proposing to apply for independent degree-awarding powers .

As a company selling educational resources, it would be interesting to see how certain issues may be resolved.  For example, would they recommend OA educational resources as an alternative to their own products for cash-strapped students or for staff that want to use good material from elsewhere? If such OA resources – or research-ouput resources – were CC licenced for non-commercial use, would it matter if the institution was being run as a commercial enterprise?



About Bill Hubbard
Bill Hubbard is the Director of the Centre for Research Communications (CRC), incorporating the work of SHERPA. Bill has a background in Higher Education and IT; in particular in work aiming to embed IT into university functions and working practices. Previous work has looked at the use of Expert Systems in supporting decision making, designing information systems for managing research funding and a number of years working with the introduction of multimedia into university teaching. Bill's commercial experience includes three years as a project manager in virtual reality applications for communications, installations and broadcast, specialising in virtual heritage environments. Before this he worked as a senior lecturer at De Montfort University, Leicester, leading a BA degree course in Multimedia Design and has been an honorary lecturer in the School of Computing Sciences at the University of East Anglia. Bill speaks widely on open access and related issues - repository network development, institutional integration, cultural change, IPR and Open Access policy development. He is also involved in archaeological and heritage applications of new media and sits on the Channel 4 Award jury for new media archaeology.

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