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COMMENTARY: OPEN ACCESS TO RESEARCH AND THE INDIVIDUAL RESPONSIBILITY OF RESEARCHERS

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Author(s): Thierry Chanier

Journal: Language Learning and Technology
ISSN 1094-3501

Volume: 11;
Issue: 2;
Start page: 142;
Date: 2007;
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Keywords: Research Methods

ABSTRACT
Readers of Language Learning & Technology are undoubtedly aware of the debate raging through the international research community about open (i.e., free) access to research and knowledge. As readers of the journal, we may not feel very concerned with this debate, because when LLT was established in 1997 (and ALSIC Journal in 1998) it seemed natural that articles should be freely accessible from every part of the network. But this perspective is misleading. First, it is important to recognize that LLT, Alsic, and 2000 open access (OA) journals are the exception and not the rule among the 25,000 peer-reviewed journals. Secondly, like it or not, we are directly concerned individually as researchers at several levels. * As readers, we face potential restrictions in access to publications and data in our field as well as to tools that could support our research and teaching. * As authors we seek being published not only in journals that have good reputations but also that have a large audience so that our work can be cited. Citation is becoming an important feature of the research evaluation process of individuals as well as of institutions, and OA offers an impact advantage (OpCit, 2006). * As citizens, when our salary and research are paid for out of public funds, we are often responsible for giving free access to our work as requested by research agencies, provided we can actually use our Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) and not forfeit their use when signing publishers' copyrights agreements.We have the hardware and software solutions to guarantee open access. But social and economic models are well entrenched in the scientific publishing world. I would like to describe here, from a researcher’s standpoint, two ways to open access: the so called "green" and "gold" roads to OA (open archives and OA journals) and the obstacles that stand in the way.

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