Open Access in Swedish Private Sector R&D
Open Access (OA) is defined as the free, online, immediate, permanent access to scientific and scholarly material in full-text. Open Access practices have reached the universities and now nearly all university researchers report knowledge of OA. Statistics Sweden (SCB) has estimated that 75% of all money invested in research activities in Sweden is done by private companies. In spite of this, the private sector has been relatively absent from the Open Access discussion and development, in contrast to the universities. The goal of this project was to study the advance of OA practices in the private sector. The method was to visit a number of Swedish companies and present the OA concept. After the presentations web-based surveys were distributed to measure previous knowledge of OA, publishing and readership practices, and views of the matter. Knowledge and awareness of Open Access is less within companies than at universities, although it seems to increase with publishing practices and higher educational degree. The publishing practices, and to lesser extent the reading practices, of scientific articles is less within companies, which could lead to a skewed funding situation for a future Open Access-economy based on an “author-pays” model. In discussions regarding how companies might pay for Open Access we therefore suggest that the flow of information needs to be guarded so that the benefit of access to scientific data does not become limited for companies and industry in a new way, as is already seen by some Open Access journals. The researchers’ access to information should be the same irrespective of whether they work at a company or at the university.
research & development