Heather Joseph, Cameron MacDonald and Open Access

May 31, 2007

Open access has become the subject of much discussion amongst researchers, librarians, and publishers.  Governments and funding agencies are urged to develop open access strategies to help speed research progress, increase productivity, and extend knowledge translation.  As librarians we are familiar with how expensive journal costs have reduced subscriptions and our ability to provide access to as many journals.  The open access movement is critically relevant to many of us, especially now that the discussion of open access has reached the mainstream.  CHLA delegates were treated to a lively discussion of the topic by two insightful speakers today.

Heather Joseph has worked in the field of scholarly publishing for over 17 years and was a pioneer in the area of electronic journals and open access.   She is currently the executive director of SPARC, the Scholarly Publishing and Academic Resources Coalition in Washington DC, an organization that looks at ways of expanding information dissemination by seeking alternatives to the high cost of commercial scientific publications.  Today, Heather discussed open access, in particular public policy and repositories.

From the general, to the very specific, Cameron MacDonald discussed open access from the point of view of a small, not for profit scientific publisher.  Cameron is the Director of NRC Research Press which, although it is small, is the largest single publisher of scientific and technical journals in Canada.  Cameron has 20 years of experience in various capacities at CISTI; the Canada Institute for Scientific and Technical Information.  Cameron is focussed on ensuring that the NRC Research Press continues to meet the needs of researchers in Canada and worldwide.  Today he discussed open access issues faced by NRC Research Press as it strives to provide broader, more equitable access in a viable business model that supports its leading edge publishing processes and services.