The written evidence for the BIS Inquiry on Open Access has now been published and is available on the website for the UK parliament.
The inquiry follows the past House of Lords inquiry and continues the bitter rivalries and feuds between advocates and detractors. I must say that there is still a great deal of Fear, Uncertainty and Doubt (FUD) in circulation. For instance, the Tavistock Institute's report contains the following: "many authors will want to retain the need to gain permission to cite research". Really? They're suggesting that, as a researcher, you think you should have the right to stop other people citing your work? For me, this simply does not compute. Scholarly and scientific publication is an entrance into dialogue, not the right to preach ex cathedra and this is enshrined in fair use copyright law: even at the moment, you can't stop this.
Anyway, highlights of the report, that I've read so far (I'm not going to get time, I suspect, to read the full 500 pages) include:
- The submission from the Creative Commons debunking the rubbish that has been circulated about their licenses.
- Mike Taylor's submission, pulling no punches in highlighting publisher involvement in the Finch report and the problems therein.
- Heather Morrison's submission is interesting, although I disagree. She raises some really interesting points, some of which I hadn't considered, and I agree that lowering permission barriers doesn't have to be done through CC, but isn't the danger here that this kind of statement begins to reduce OA to merely lowering price barriers? I think the CC licenses are the best shot we have at the moment for removing permission barriers...
- My own submission!