As well as the recording above, you can find panelist slides, resources shared via the chat during the webinar and responses to some of the unanswered questions below..
Date: Thursday May 12, 2022
Time: 2 – 3.30 pm UK (1 – 2.30 pm UTC)
Other timezones: 6.00 am Pacific Time, 8.00 am Central Time, 9.00 am Eastern Time, 10.00 am Brasilia Time, 3.00 pm Central European Time, 2.00 pm West Africa Time, 3.00 pm South Africa Standard Time, 6.30 pm India Standard Time, 9 pm Central Indonesia Time (Time converter tool)
Large segments of the scholarly literature, both from backlist catalogs and new publications, continue to be only accessible behind paywall infrastructures. This poses a challenge to those scholars not affiliated with well funded research institutions, in particular in the Global South, exacerbating extant inequities. At the same time, the often cumbersome user interfaces of paywall-protected platforms continue to prevent efficient usage by researchers who do happen to have access to these materials. As a result, an ecosystem of so-called “shadow libraries” has evolved, developing different strategies to make closed content accessible to a wide scholarly public. Contrary to for example the music and movie industries, the academic publishing industry has been unable to formulate a platform solution that would provide an alternative.
This OASPA webinar will address the origins and architecture of these forms of widely used online repositories, their position in relation to Open Access policies, legal aspects in terms of copyright and fair use, and what they can teach us in terms of accessibility.
The webinar will be chaired by Vincent W.J. van Gerven Oei (punctum books) and we welcome panelists Arul George Scaria (National Law University Delhi), Martin Paul Eve (Birkbeck), Marcell Mars (Memory of the World, Pirate Care), Balász Bodó (University of Amsterdam) and respondent Virginia Crisp (King’s College, London).
Please join us live for this free webinar and contribute to the discussion and the guidelines for open access publishers.
Link to registration page: bit.ly/May22-OASPAWebinar. Please share with your networks.
Resources shared during the webinar via chat:
Responses to unanswered attendee questions:
Q. SciHub stats (if we believe them) show that many « core North » researchers use their services. So it is less disenfranchised users than different practices and ergonomical choices?
See our research on this: https://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0242509 there we show that access to knowledge is only one aspect that defines the global dissemination and local use and usefulness of knowledge. A lot depends on the local conditions, which ultimately define to what extent freely accessible knowledge can be absorbed and utilized by both local individual and institutional actors.
Q. Could any of the panel please direct me to any literature which discusses academics deliberately, knowingly ‘seeding’ their own proprietary (not CC-licensed) written works in shadow libraries (exc. researchgate & academia.edu)… I certainly see why one might do this.
Q. How viable (economically and legally) is a country’s open access policy? Like the one that is in practice in Germany or the ‘one nation one subscription’ policy proposal in India ?
Initiatives like Project DEAL in Germany are economically unsustainable models for any country in the Global South. These kinds of agreements can only perpetuate oligopoly in the publication sector and the oligopolistic practices of publishers. Hence they cannot be considered as good models for the global community of researchers. The success or failure of the one nation, one subscription policy proposal in India would depend on the question of reasonableness in subscription fees and the question of how many publishers would agree to that model of a single subscription for the whole country. It is very doubtful whether the publishers would agree to a reasonable subscription fees for the whole country. As the details of the negotiation, including subscription fees demanded by publishers, are not yet available in the public domain, it is hard to reach any conclusion on the economic viability of that model. In any case, we should remind ourselves that this cannot be a substitute for open access and the long term focus needs to be on ensuring open access to all research outputs, particularly those from public funded research.
Balász Bodó @bodobalazs
Balázs Bodó, PhD, economist, socio-legal researcher at the Institute for Information Law (IViR) at the University of Amsterdam. He was a Fulbright Visiting Researcher at Stanford University’s Center for Internet and Society in 2006/7 and a Fellow at the Center between 2006 and 2012. In 2012/13 he was a Fulbright Fellow at the Berkman Center for Internet and Society at Harvard University. In 2013 he moved to Amsterdam as a Marie Curie Fellow at the Institute for Information Law (IViR) at the University of Amsterdam. His academic interests include copyright and economics, piracy, media regulation, peer-to-peer communities, shadow libraries, digital archives, informal media economies, and similar regulatory conflicts around new technological architectures. https://www.uva.nl/en/profile/
Martin Paul Eve @martin_eve
Martin has appeared before the UK House of Commons Select Committee BIS Inquiry into Open Access, and been a steering-group member of the OAPEN-UK project, the Jisc National Monograph Strategy Group, the SCONUL Strategy Group on Academic Content and Communications, and the HEFCE Open Access Monographs Expert Reference Panel (2014), and the Universities UK OA Monographs Working Group (2016-). Martin is also an Executive Board Officer for punctum books, a Plan S Ambassador, and he co-founded the Open Library of Humanities. He is currently a work package lead on the COPIM project.
Marcell Mars @marcell
Nenad Romić (aka Marcell Mars, b. 1972). Advanced internet user.
Marcell is one of the founders of Multimedia Institute – mi2 (1999) and club mama in Zagreb (2000). He initiated GNU GPL publishing label EGOBOO.bits (2000); started Skill sharing (2004) informal meetings of technical enthusiasts in mama + regional hacker gatherings ‘Nothing will happen‘ (2007).
Mars started his research “Ruling Class Studies” at Jan van Eyck (2011-12), continued at Akademie Schloss Solitude (2013) and since spring 2015, he is a PhD student at Leuphana University in DCRL (Digital Cultures Research Lab). “Ruling Class Studies” is a research of corporate state-of-the-art digital innovation, adaptation, and intelligence. It looks closely at the Google, Amazon, Facebook and eBay.
He was a Research Fellow at the Centre for Postdigital Cultures from 2018 until 2021.
Public Library/Memory of the World was established in 2012 to develop sociotechnical infrastructure and invigorate (again) historical argument for universal access to knowledge. For MotW Marcell develops software and maintains related server infrastructure. Public Library/Memory of the World was heard and exhibited at Museo Reina Sofía, 98weeks, Impakt Festival, Transmediale, The New School, Kunstverein Stuttgart.
Arul George Scaria @arulscaria
Virginia joined CMCI at King’s in 2016. She previously worked at Coventry University as the Course Director for the BA in Media and Communications and Middlesex University as a Senior Lecturer in Media and Cultural Studies. She is the co-founder (with Dr Gabriel Menotti Gonring) of the Besides the Screen Network (www.besidesthescreen.com), a network that brings together academics, filmmakers, artists and industry professionals from across the globe to consider the transformation of audiovisual media practices. She is also the Principal Investigator on the AHRC networking grant attached to this project.
Virginia is a member of the Piracy Lab, an international research network concerned with analysing the way media piracy affects contemporary society. Her research concerns the changing modes and mechanisms of media distribution: both legal/illegal and formal/informal. She is particularly interested in how issues of access, ownership, participation and control are enacted within both traditional and new media contexts. Her monograph, Film Distribution in the Digital Age: Pirates and Professionals (Palgrave: 2015) investigates the relationship between formal and informal methods of film distribution with a particular focus on film piracy.
Vincent W.J. van Gerven Oei @ontakragoueke
Vincent is a specialist in Old Nubian philology, publishing the standard work A Reference Grammar of Old Nubian (Peeters, 2021), and is co-founder of the Union for Nubian Studies and co-managing editor of Dotawo: A Journal of Nubian Studies. He is co-director of scholar- and queer-led open-access press punctum books, board member of the Open Access Scholarly Publishing Association.