The difference between open access and free access explained (open access policies, CC BY licence)

  • WikiDocJames
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The difference between open access and free access explained (open access policies, CC BY licence)

This was on the HIFA2015 Dgroup but is also of relevance for SuSanA:

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First of all I would like to thank Dr. Najeeb Al-Shorbaji and the World Health Organization for beginning to publish the Bulletin of the World Health Organization under an open license (specifically the CC BY license).

This license allows not only free access but also reuse. I would love to see other publications from the WHO in the future released under this license.

A great description of the difference between open access and free access is given in this 2007 paper by MacCallum:

"New York Times science writer Carl Zimmer demonstrated the distinction succinctly [between free and open access] [4]. He discusses a recent case where Wiley threatened legal action after a neuroscience graduate posted some figures from one of their journal articles on her blog (despite the fact that this is already permitted under terms of “fair dealing” or “fair use”).

His response was:
“Compare Shelley's experience to what I'm about to do. I'm going to 'shudder reprint' a diagram from a journal. Just lift it straight out. And whhat do I now hear from PLOS? Do I hear the grinding of lawyerly knives? No. I hear the blissful silence of Open Access, a slowly-spreading trend in the journal world. PLOS makes it very clear on their web site that “everything we publish is freely available online throughout the world, for you to read, download, copy, distribute, and use (with attribution) any way you wish.” No muss, no fuss. If I want to blog about this paper right now, I can grab a relevant image right now from it. In fact, I just did.” [4] ...

Does the distinction between free and open access really matter if anyone can read the article for free? Isn't open access just about making the literature available? Well, yes and no. Free access is certainly important, but it's only the starting point. At least of equal importance is the potential for innovation. We don't know yet what innovation means with regards to the full text of an article - who could have predicted the impact GenBannk would have or the uses that sequences are now being put to? As one colleague put it, free access is like giving a child a Lego car and telling her that she can look at it, perhaps touch it, but certainly not take it apart and make an airplane from it. The full potential of the work cannot be realized [6]."

Source:http://www.plosbiology.org/article/info%3Adoi%2F10.1371%2Fjournal.pbio.0050285

This UNESCO paper also discusses it well: www.unesco.de/fileadmin/medien/Dokumente...ent_Licences_web.pdf

We have added our first bit of information from the Bulletin of the World Health Organization here: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Organ_transplantation#Usage
The article is not as good as it should be but hopefully with time it will improve.


Regards,
James


HIFA profile: James Heilman is a Wikipedian and works with Wiki Project Med Foundation, a charity whose mission is to make clear, reliable, comprehensive, up-to-date educational resources and information in the biomedical and related social sciences freely available to all people in the language of their choice. He is an Emergency Room Physician in Cranbrook, British Columbia, and a Clinical Instructor at the University of British Columbia. jmh649 AT gmail.com

James Heilman
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  • muench
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Re: The difference between open access and free access explained

I found the comparison with the lego car to explain the difference between open access and free accress really good:

Free access is like giving a child a Lego car and telling her that she can look at it, perhaps touch it, but certainly not take it apart and make an airplane from it. The full potential of the work cannot be realized


Open access would therefore be giving the child the lego car and telling the child he/she can build other things with it.

Today I came across the open access policy of the Wellcome Trust. (About Wellcome Trust: "We are a global charitable foundation dedicated to improving health by supporting bright minds in science, the humanities and social sciences, and public engagement." www.wellcome.ac.uk/index.htm )

Here you find a set of FAQs about their open access policy:
www.wellcome.ac.uk/stellent/groups/corpo...ument/WTVM055715.pdf

Copied from this FAQ document (June 2014):

8. Why is the Trust now requiring the CC-BY licence for journal articles?
We believe that the full research and economic benefit of published content will only be
realised when there are no restrictions on access to, and reuse of, this information. We
believe the goal must be to unleash that content whilst still allowing publishers to recoup
their costs in an effective market.

From a funder perspective, CC-BY achieves this aim, and has now emerged as the standard
licence for open access (OA) publishing by commercial and non-commercial publishers who
recoup their costs from publication fees and other revenue streams.


9. Can you give some examples of re-use which the CC-BY licence will facilitate?

Example 1: Including figures from a paper in a blog postUnless a paper is licensed under CC-BY, then figures from that paper cannot typically be
included in a blog post, as most blog sites carry advertising, and would thus be viewed as
commercial. Equally, a figure could not be included in a Wikipedia page because Wikipedia
can only make use of images which are free for commercial use.

Example 2: Creating a translation (and charging for this)
The Trust funds a lot of research into malaria and its management and prevention. It is
possible that an organisation may like to take this content and translate it (into, say,
Burmese) so the information could be more readily understood by the local population.
Creating the translation may incur costs, which the creator may wish to recover by selling
this content. As long as the translation attributes the original research (which would remain
freely available) this re-use is permissible.

13. What happens if an author does not want their work licensed using CC-BY?

The CC-BY licence is emerging as the standard OA publishing licence, and our view is that
the imposition of any restrictions on the reuse of content limits the value of that content.
Tens of thousands of authors are publishing using the CC-BY licence each year, and we are
not aware of any issues that have arisen as a result of using this licence.The point of funder mandates in this area is to secure a particular outcome – fully reusable
results. Our experience is that when presented with the benefits of CC-BY, researchers are
happy to accept it.


The Wellcome Trust has also funded a Wikipedian at Cancer Research UK (I am trying to find out more about the modalities of this arrangement).

I used to think that free access is what we should aim for. But now I am excited to learn about the possibilities of open access which is free access plus so much more! Exciting developments, started and pushed forward by our medical colleagues and now spreading into other fields, too.

Kind regards,
Elisabeth

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  • joeturner
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Re: The difference between open access and free access explained (open access policies, CC BY licence)

Also possibly worth remembering that there are different kinds of creative commons license. A CC license does not necessarily imply that other users can legitimately tear apart and remix content creativecommons.org/choose/

If you really want to just put information out there which can be used and abused at will, you need to release it as public domain information. In most situations, you don't actually want that - you want to be accurately quoted, for example, rather than for someone to mix up your words and make it sound like you said something that you did not say. I therefore think the lego analogue is pretty unhelpful.
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  • muench
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Re: The difference between open access and free access explained (open access policies, CC BY licence)

Yes, that's why we speak of CC-BY licence, not just of CC licence. If I understand correctly, then CC licence is the overarching term (for creative commons) and CC-BY licence is the specific term that allows re-mixing. See also: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Creative_Commons_license

I am not an expert on this (and I still don't know what the BY exactly stands for as an abbreviation?), but the way I understand it, it is not about "make it sound like you said something that you did not say".

The idea is that I write or create about something. Then someone else takes what I have written and uses it e.g. in another context. They may mention my name as the root source or make a reference to my work but they can basically do whatever they want with it - no longer under my name but under their own name.

To me the lego analogy makes perfect sense. The person who built the lego airplane from your lego car would not say that you built the lego airplane. They might just say that you showed them how to build a steering wheel out of lego as the same steering wheel can be used in a car and in a plane. Something along those lines.

As the Wellcome Trust FAQ page put it it makes sense to me:

We believe that the full research and economic benefit of published content will only be
realised when there are no restrictions on access to, and reuse of, this information.


If someone doesn't want that, no problem. Nobody is forced to do it. But if I was a funding agency, I should be able to stipulate this as one of the conditions to get a grant from me.

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  • joeturner
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Re: The difference between open access and free access explained (open access policies, CC BY licence)

I think the BY just means you have to show attribution (ie who it is BY).

It is very useful in that one can use parts and sections of published information - paragraphs from reports, images and so on.

I just thought it might be important to be clear what is and is not being spoken of here.
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Re: The difference between open access and free access explained (open access policies, CC BY licence)

And the trend for organisations to move to open access for their publications is continuing which is good to see:

The Asian Development Bank has launched an open access policy for its economic and development research on Asia and the Pacific www.adb.org/news/adb-adopts-open-access-...development-research

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MANILA, PHILIPPINES – The Asian Development Bank (ADB) has made all its economic and development research on Asia and the Pacific available under open access, a principle that promotes unrestricted online access to scholarly research so that it can be more widely distributed and used.

ADB’s open access initiative combines the creation and launch of a new open access website with the adoption of more liberal terms of use for ADB copyrighted knowledge products. Open access removes the need for any form of payment or permission to gain access, read, download, use, or distribute an ADB publication.

“ADB is at the forefront of development thinking and practice in Asia and the Pacific and everyone—from a graduate student studying in Azerbaijan to a government official in Fiji—should be empowered with the right to access and use our knowledge and expertise as they wish,” said Bindu N. Lohani, ADB Vice-President for Knowledge Management and Sustainable Development. “Open access removes all barriers to accessing our research.”

The open access website was launched today with more than 2,000 publications from ADB’s current publications and archive. It will eventually include the complete back catalog of ADB research—well over 5,000 publications—dating back to 1966, the year ADB was established.

Scholarly research is traditionally published in commercial academic journals that often require an expensive paid subscription to access it and strict terms of use to reproduce it. Open access is based on the principle that publically-funded research should be circulated as widely as possible so that the knowledge can be built upon, which may lead to innovative ways of thinking.

“The graduate student in Azerbaijan may have the next great idea in development,” said Mr. Lohani. “We must ensure that she or he has unrestricted access to the information and research needed to help produce that great idea.”

ADB joins other multilateral development banks, like the World Bank and the Inter-American Development Bank, as one of the first international financial institutions to embrace the principle of unfettered online access to research.

The new website conforms to standards already used by more than 3,000 open access repositories worldwide. These standards aim to facilitate the exchange of information between institutional and university repositories. They will also make it easier for ADB research to be indexed on academic search engines, such as Google Scholar.

ADB’s Open Access Repository can be found at openaccess.adb.org (link is external)

ADB, based in Manila, dedicates itself to reducing poverty in Asia and the Pacific through inclusive economic growth, environmentally sustainable growth, and regional integration. Established in 1966, it is owned by 67 members—48 from the Asia-Pacific region

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Re: The difference between open access and free access explained (open access policies, CC BY licence)

The CC BY IGO 3.0 license is a great one. Fully open access. My respects to the ADB for taking this step.

James Heilman
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  • F H Mughal
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Re: Open access

Open access

Quite often, I come across with articles that carry the label of open access. By default, I always consider this as a free access article. At times, I’m mistaken.

A interesting blog by Marianne Renkema, who works in the library of Wageningen University, as team leader of the group Education Support appeared recently ( weblog.wur.eu/openscience/open-access-reuse-rights/ ).

Marianne says that free access is an important component of open access publications. However, there is more to open access, which is especially worthwhile when one consider publishing open access. According to the Open Definition, “knowledge is open if anyone is free to access, use, modify, and share it”. So, providing reuse rights is another important asset of open access. The author of an open access publication holds copyright on it instead of transferring all rights to the publisher (see opendefinition.org/ and opendefinition.org/od/2.1/en/ )

According to her (and this is very interesting), a Creative Commons license is a way to give permission for reuse in advance. They are commonly used in open access publishing. There are six different Creative Commons licenses: CC BY, CC BY-SA, CC BY-NC, CC BY-ND, CC BY-NC-SA, CC BY-NC-ND. The most open license is the license CC BY which allows the user to redistribute, to create derivatives, such as a translation, and even use the publication for commercial activities, provided that appropriate credit is given to the author and that the user indicates whether the publication has been changed. Another open license is CC BY-SA in which the letters SA (share alike) indicate that the derivative work should be shared under the same reuse rights, so with the same CC license. Adding the conditions only non-commercial use (NC) and/or no derivative works (ND) makes the Creative Commons licenses more restrictive and therewith less open.

An interesting brochure can be found at www.plos.org/files/HowOpenIsIt_English.pdf

I’m sure the moderators of this forum will find Marianne’s blog useful

F H Mughal

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Re: Open access

Dear Mughal,

Yes, the whole open access thing is really interesting and very important. Open access is much more than just free access.
(I've learned about open access mainly through my involvement with Wikipedia, which is all completely open access, using the CC-BY SA 4.0 licence)

So thanks for your post on this!
I have moved your post into this existing thread to keep it all together with previous posts about open access and free access (please scrol up) .
Thanks,
Elisabeth

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