Report from the "What Is Open?" Workgroup


  • Rick Anderson Associate Dean of Libraries at the University of Utah and President-Elect, Society for Scholarly Publishing (SSP)
  • Seth Denbo Director of Scholarly Communication and Digital Initiatives, American Historical Association
  • Diane Graves Assistant Vice President for Information Resources and University Librarian, Trinity University and Board member, EDUCAUSE
  • Susan Haigh Executive Director, Canadian Association of Research Libraries
  • Steven Hill Head of Research Policy, Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE)
  • Martin Kalfatovic Associate Director, Digital Program and Initiatives, Smithsonian Libraries
  • Roy Kaufman Managing Director, New Ventures, Copyright Clearance Center
  • Catherine Murray-Rust Dean of Libraries & Vice Provost for Academic Effectiveness, Georgia Tech
  • Kathleen Shearer Executive Director, Confederation of Open Access Repositories (COAR)
  • Dick Wilder Associate General Counsel, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation
  • Alicia Wise Director of Access and Policy, Elsevier



The scholarly communityââ¬â¢s current definition of ââ¬Åopenââ¬Â captures only some of the attributes of openness that exist across different publishing models and content types. Open is not an end in itself, but a means for achieving the most effective dissemination of scholarship and research. We suggest that the different attributes of open exist along a broad spectrum and propose an alternative way of describing and evaluating openness based on four attributes: discoverable, accessible, reusable, and transparent. These four attributes of openness, taken together, form the draft ââ¬ÅDART Framework for Open Access.ââ¬Â This framework can be applied to both research artifacts as well as research processes. We welcome input from the broader scholarly community about this framework.

OSI2016 workgroup questionThere is a broad difference of opinion among the many stakeholders in scholarly publishing about how to precisely define open access publishing. Are ââ¬Åopen accessââ¬Â and ââ¬Åopen dataââ¬Â what we mean by open? Does ââ¬Åopenââ¬Â mean anything else? Does it mean ââ¬Åto make available,ââ¬Â or ââ¬Åto make freely available in a particular format?ââ¬Â Is a clearer definition needed (or maybe just better education on the current definition)? Why or why not? At present, some stakeholders see public access as being an acceptable stopping point in the move toward open access. Others see ââ¬Åopenââ¬Â as requiring free and immediate access with articles being available in CC-BY format. The range of opinions between these extremes is vast. How should these differences be decided? Who should decide? Is it possible to make binding recommendations (and how)? Is consensus necessary? What are the consequences of the lack of consensus?


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