From Sustainable Publishing To Resilient Communications
AbstractIn their opening reflection on Open Access (OA) in this special section, Fuchs and Sandoval (2013) argue the current policy debate on Open Access publishing is limited by a for-profit bias which blinds it to much of the most innovative activity in Open Access. They further argue for a refocusing of the policy debate within a public service, commons based perspective of academic knowledge production. I pick up these themes by looking at another key term, sustainable publishing, in an effort to contextualize the policy debate on OA within the broader context of the privatization of the university. From this perspective, the policy debate reveals an essential tension between top-down and bottom-up cultures in legitimizing knowledge. This is a tension that has profound implications for scholarly practices mediated through digital networked communications. Explicitly acknowledging this fundamental tension gives additional insight into formulating strategies for maintaining an academic culture of free and open inquiry. I suggest that the frame of resilient communications expresses the dynamic nature of scholarly communications better than that of sustainable publishing, and that empowering scholars through practice-based OA initiatives is essential in broadening grass roots support for equitable Open Access amongst scholars.
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