Reblog> Does Academia.edu Mean Open Access Is Becoming Irrelevant?

A really interesting post by Gary Hall on his blog around what ‘open access’ means and how we negotiate what might be understood as the ‘attention economy’ of academia in relation to the ways in which sites like academia.edu and research gate leverage the ‘respectability’ of our work and our collective need to find audiences in order to generate valuable metadata. As Hall argues:

 In this world who gate-keeps access to (and so can extract maximum value from) content is less important, because that access is already free, than who gate-keeps(and so can extract maximum value from) the data generated around the use of that content, which is used more because access to it is free.

I heartily recommend reading the whole piece

Does Academia.edu Mean Open Access Is Becoming Irrelevant?

brief discussion took place this month on the Association of Internet Researchers air-l listserve concerning a new book from the publishers Edward Elgar: Handbook of Digital Politics. Edited by Stephen Coleman and Deen Freelon, this 512 page volume features contributions from Peter Dahlgren, Nick Couldry, Christian Fuchs, Fadi Hirzalla and Liesbet van Zoonen, among numerous others. The discussion was provoked, however, not by something one of its many contributors had written about digital politics, but by the book’s cost: $240 on Amazon in the US. (In the UK the hardback is £150.00 on Amazon. Handbook of Digital Politics is also available online direct from the publishers for £135.00, with the ebook available for £40.) As one of those on the list commented, ‘I’d love to buy it, but not at that price’ – to which another participant in the discussion responded: ‘I encourage everyone to use the preprint option to post their piece on ssrn.com and academia.edu, perhaps others have other open access suggestions (e.g. Institutional Repositories of individual universities)’. Now, to be fair, the idea that is implied by this suggestion – that the Academia.edu platform for sharing research represents just another form of open access – is a common one. Yet posting on Academia.edu is far from being ethically and politically equivalent to using an institutional open access repository.

Read the whole post here.

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