Open access (53) Subscription journals and open access repositories (4) Myth 3: Open access will not make any difference to health policy and practice (2)

13 August, 2019

Dear Amelia and all,

On the subject of why authors do not self-archive their work, you write:

"There are no incentives to do so. When you work for an institution that already grants you access to scientific knowledge and you have a lot of other demands on your time, this may not come to your mind. And even if it does, it may not be a top priority."

It would be interesting indeed to know more about what motivates health researchers. Some of us might assume (naively?) that their underlying motivation is to improve health, in their country or worldwide. In this case, proponents of open access need to demonstrate conclusively that 'open access will make a difference to health policy and practice'.

Other drivers include extrinsic motivations such as academic recognition: we have seen how OA has inappropriately undermined and misrepresented by some academic institutions - how to address this? Indeed, how to reverse this trend to encourage more academic institutions to discriminate positively to open access, given the increased sharing of knowledge that5 this clearly brings?

We have also heard that many researchers don't know that they are permitted (in most instances) to self-archive a pre-print or post-ptint of their work, even if it is published in a restricted-access journal. And even if they may be vaguely aware, they see it as a time-consuming burden to actually do it (when in fact it could be done within a few minutes, if given clear simple instructions).

I look forward to further discussion on these issues. To contribute to the discussion, just send an email to:

Best wishes, Neil

Coordinator, HIFA Project on Access to Health Research

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HIFA profile: Neil Pakenham-Walsh is coordinator of the HIFA global health campaign (Healthcare Information For All - ), a global community with more than 19,000 members in 177 countries, interacting on six global forums in four languages. Twitter: @hifa_org FB: