Join us online on Monday 19th October 2020 for this year’s British Library Open and Engaged conference: ‘Inequities in Scholarly Communications’, addressing this year’s international Open Access Week theme of ‘Open with Purpose: Taking Action to Build Structural Equity and Inclusion’.
This one-day, online conference will bring together speakers working in libraries, museums, archives and publishers to further highlight and explore a number of these avenues, to critically assess whether the purported benefits of more open scholarly communications have been realised, and where possible to present practical ways forward.
Working in scholarly communications, we tend to assume that ‘Open’ is a good thing. We espouse the various benefits of openness, such as: free access to scholarly and educational resources for a wider audience, including journalists, various practitioners and professionals, and the general public; the potential to influence policy makers; allowing businesses to take advantage of the latest research; general improvements to the research process; and the offer of increased recognition for individual researchers and their institutions. Moreover, we celebrate the gradual emergence of a scholarly communications system which is more equitable for all, with fewer barriers to entry.
Though conversations around scholarly communications (and debates in digital media) have always included critical voices, those in positions of influence haven’t always paid as much attention to these as they should. Recent developments - like ‘transformative’ or ‘read and publish’ deals, the continued growth of scholar-led and community-owned infrastructure and presses, major changes in open access mandates and research evaluation policies, and the acquisition of scholarly communication services by commercial service suppliers, amongst major social and political events - have brought a number of urgent debates to the fore. Various other issues have persisted, like a lack of bibliodiversity in publishing and scholarly communications systems, funding inequalities, inclusivity (or lack of) in hiring, promotion and professional practices. These have implications for whether or not scholarly communications and ‘Open’ is ultimately beneficial for all.
Registration is free and open now. Recordings from the day will be made publicly available in November 2020.