Nick Shockey, the Director of the Right to Research Coalition which EFPSA joined in 2011, hosted a workshop for psychology students attending the annual EFPSA Congress in Denmark last week. The workshop was attended by over 30 congress participants including the newly elected EFPSA President, Dalya Samur. It covered topics ranging from what Open Access is to how students can get involved in advocating Open Access at their universities and national and international organizations.
Since the workshop provoked great interest among the participants of the congress, we decided to make an interview* with Nick on the topic of open access journals and advocacy of open access, and what does all that mean to psychology students.
*Special thanks to Lorenz Jaeger, EFPSA’s European Summer School Junior Coordinator, for leading this interview with me.
With the open access protests (e.g. Elsevier boycott) reaching their climax in the past weeks, OA has been condemned to ultimate failure in Europe with the European Commission putting a final and unequivocal stop to it. In analogy to the RWA (Research Works Act) in the USA, according to which scholarly publishers like Elsevier hoped to claw back total ownership of federally funded research, the European Union has started a hot debate on banning OA to scientific literature for the public. Their argumentation is mainly based on the idea to transfer the revenues made by the publishing industry into funds accessible for the academic world and only the academic world. Thus a private scientific journal publishing company could not keep all the money earned through their subscription fees, but would have to pay a third of its income to the European Union. With all this new influx of money, the EU would announce scholarships for talented academics – paying their research expenses and projects. This would render public access to journals a distant dream – mainly academics would be able to access journals through their standing university or library subscriptions (it’s not like anybody else is paying the exorbitant per article fees).