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Martin Paul Eve

Professor of Literature, Technology and Publishing at Birkbeck, University of London

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As I ramp up my efforts to bring the critique of closed access journals to the fore I expect at some point to encounter the charge of hypocrisy; I publish in closed journals. Having just seen a post on twitter criticizing research on Open Access published in a closed destination, I wanted here to briefly outline a justification for this.

  1. I am not a tenured professor. If I had academic job security, I could afford to publish purely in open access destinations, preferably Gold, Libre. As it is, I am still at the mercy of the metrics and systems that make publishing in closed venues a requisite for obtaining long term employment. Academic freedom is the freedom to hold a view; it does not extend to implementing the view. However, those who can afford to do so, should.
  2. Immanent critique has value. The people who solely value closed-source journals (who I would argue are unaware of the constraints they place upon themselves through such behaviour) undoubtedly perceive OA publications as being of less worth. By publishing critiques of the system they value, within a framework valued by that system, the message can be heard in places it would not otherwise reach, avoiding the "fringe looney" accusation.

No doubt these justifications could be read as excuses, but if somebody has a better suggestion that wouldn't result in my eradication from academia, I would be most interested to hear.

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