Open Access: a commitment of all. Challenges for the present

César Eligio-Triana, *

Universidad Católica de Colombia, Bogotá (Colombia) Facultad de Diseño, Programa de Arquitectura Centro de investigaciones CIFAR., Colombia

** Arquitecto, Universidad Católica de Colombia, Bogotá, Colombia. Magíster en Arquitectura, Universidad Nacional de Colombia. Docente e Investigador, Universidad Católica de Colombia. Editor Revista de Arquitectura. Representante Andes Norte, Asociación de Revistas Latinoamericanas de Arquitectura (ARLA)

1657-0308. 2016 ; 18(1)
doi: no disponible

Keywords: Palabras clave investigación en arquitectura, Open Access, publicaciones científicas, sociedad del conocimiento, tecnologías de la información y comunicación (TIC).
Keywords: Keywords Research in architecture, Open Access, scien-tific publications, knowledge society, Information Technology and Communication (ICT).

Eligio-Triana, C. A. (2016). Acceso abierto: un compromiso de todos. Retos para el presente. Revista de Arquitectura, 18(1), 3-5. doi: 10.14718/RevArq.2016.18.1.1

Open access is the best choice to promote a democratic, participatory and inclusive development for updating knowledge (Banerjee, Babini and Aguado, 2015, pp. 13-14)

If it is stated that research and production of new knowledge are necessary for the growth, development and consolidation of a society, intellectual production (academic, research, cultural, technological, etc.) of a community should be made known immediately and easily accessed; for this it is necessary to ensure the quality and the means to reach target audiences. This view represents a change in how the communication of knowledge has been going around a closed system in which to access the material of interest, must be made economic rewards, represented in buying databases, subscriptions or payment by the query.

Open knowledge (OK) is a movement that seeks the promotion of the so-called knowledge societies; Open knowledge can be understood as “all forms of knowledge created by individuals and institutions proactively disseminated in an accessible, interoperable and reusable format. This is knowledge that becomes a public good” (Moneo, 2015) . Open knowledge has different manifestations, such as open science, open educational resources, open source software, open data, business and open innovation and open access (Lara and Rossini, 2014, pp. 22- 44).

In particular, Open Access can be considered as a collective construction that “generates direct benefits for society as it facilitates a direct transfer of knowledge to the economic and social environment and the barriers between rich and poor countries are also dissolved” (Abadal, 2012) ; it also goes beyond the free consultation of unpublished or published content. To achieve this, it is necessary to take action in various ways, in which everyone involved must participate actively in the support, production and distribution of works.

First, public policies are basic guidelines for these initiatives to become reality. Countries that have taken steps in this direction have generated a legislative regulation based on the principle that the results of the (wholly or partially) funded research with public money should be put at the service of the community under the idea of Open Access; this is Mexico’s case, which in the Law on Science and Technology defines some Open Access guidelines, and Argentina, which has implemented the National Digital Repositories (SNRD) as a means of electronic dissemination (Cabrera, 2015, p. 18 ) . In the case of Brazil, “the University of Brasilia has adopted open repositories systems, just as the Brazilian Institute of Information in Science and Technology (IBICT) has developed a system to allow visibility and open access journals” (Cabrera, 2015, p. 19) . These few examples show a path towards democratization of science led by the state.

Hand in hand with public policy there are institutional policies (educational, public or private), in which it is necessary to define how the material generated as a result of its missionary activities is presented. This involves involves the definition of guidelines, the coordination with its libraries, documentation centers and research centers; to achieve this, repositories have been implemented as one of the basic strategies. It should also consider the issue of rights’ transfer so that, the institutions, by the hand of the authors, protect their assets, but in turn ensure adequate disclosure of their activities.

But accomplishing this requires technological developments based on the interoperability of Web content (OAI, s f..) ; likewise, the Open Access is enhanced by the existence of technology platforms and ICT that support it. The possibility of consultation for readers is important, but so is the readability by computers; the definition of specific protocols and languages takes value as a means for effective dissemination of content through search, cross-checking, traceability, proper referencing of sources and construction of indicators. The proliferation of digital formats (XML, PDF, HTML, ePUB, etc.) allows the reading of articles on any device, but this is not enough; in the case of magazines, XML formats Standard Journal Article Tag Suite (JATS) constitute progress towards interoperability between different digital platforms material generated as a scientific article.

On the other hand, Open Access is not against copyright. On the contrary, it is looking for the broad and immediate recognition of authorship. At this point, it is important to note that the author has the responsibility to define and make public the way how he wants his work to be recognized (without going counter to institutional policies and legal frameworks governing or transfers of rights). The decision of a full assignment of rights and/or economic exploitation by copyright © can generate constraints for effective dissemination of the work. It should be noted that the texts, images, data, educational material, among others, are likely to be declared as Open Access and being released by licenses Creative Commons (cc), which offer four basic parameters that can be combined in different ways, according to the author’s interests and how he wants the work be used.

At the same time as the authors, readers are also the target audience. The growing number of texts, data and materials available makes readers having to be very careful and critical of the sources they consult. To this end, search capabilities and information organization must be improved, and focus on the subject attribution to the authors. Not everything that is visible is public domain, which should be expressed directly, otherwise the type of license which the material is available for use must be identified. Some search tools already include the ability to filter content by the type of license in order to facilitate access based on user needs. Others involved in this process are the editors who are responsible for regulating formal aspects, academic and channels for content presentation; Open Access can define different degrees of opening a publication making it more or less open (Sparc, Plos and Oaspa, 2013). Figure 1


[Figure ID: gf2] Figure 1.

How Open lt ls? Spectrum M Open Access


Alternate Text: Figure 1 How Open lt ls? Spectrum M Open Access.
  — Sparc and Plos (2013) (CC BY)..

Quality is another issue of great responsibility regarding Open Access. The peer review system is a practice that ensures the relevance, rigor and validity of the contents. In maany cases this is done by double-blind mechanism, which guarantees anonymity between authors and peer search for objectivity of the review. However, in some scenarios this model is changing to become an open and public review, in order to provide greater transparency and contribute to the construction of more established and active academic communities.

These and other challenges are commitments that must be assumed if there is a desire to improve the quality of research and strengthen the use, impact and content reuse. The implementation of Open Access is a gradual process that requires time and a change of mentality and a change in some economic schemes linked to the publishing industry. These new schemes based on ICT and Open Access, also aimed at reducing costs and time of publication, and spread the knowledge or the works of its hardware, which in some cases becomes limiting disclosure or delayed immediate delivery to the public; this provides new possibilities for the “publication of the individual article, which has helped accelerate the availability of items once approved and before the numbers of the corresponding magazine are completed” (Packer et al., 2014, p. 25) .

To come to an end, we can say that there is a need “for the consolidation of Open Access as an alternative to democratization of science in Latin America” (Banerjee, Babini and Aguado, 2015, p. 13).


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