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EPFL supports Open Access
25.02.13 - EPFL formalizes its wish to promote the Open Access by signing the Berlin Declaration on January 5, 2013, an international agreement which urges to support and develop a free access to scientific knowledge and to the cultural patrimony through the web.
The Berlin Declaration forms the reference document for the institutions which want to enter the scientific publication according to the Open Access principles.
What is Open Access?
The Initiative of Budapest defines Open Access as follows: By open access to this literature, we mean its free availability on the public internet, « permitting any users to read, download, copy, distribute, print, search, or link to the full texts of these articles, crawl them for indexing, pass them as data to software, or use them for any other lawful purpose, without financial, legal, or technical barriers other than those inseparable from gaining access to the internet itself. The only constraint on reproduction and distribution, and the only role for copyright in this domain, should be to give authors control over the integrity of their work and the right to be properly acknowledged and cited.»
How about Open Access at EPFL
Among the Open Access publication models, EPFL actively supports the «green road» model since 2004 through its institutional repository Infoscience. This database enables the researchers to file a copy of their articles, often published in a paying journal, and so to make them freely available online. To date, almost 25% of the EPFL literature production is available on Infoscience (26’000 documents in January 2013; 7.7 million documents downloaded in 2013) in Open Access.
The «gold road» model corresponds to the publication in Open Access journals like PloS funded by the author or the institution. It is important to mention that the Swiss National Science Foundation (SNF), the ERC (European Research Council) and others funding agencies require that the results of all their financed projects are published in Open Access. Indeed, the address of the open repository in which the article is published must be communicated to the SNF. By depositing in Infoscience, the EPFL researchers automatically comply with this duty.
Benefits of Open Access
Open Access enables researchers worldwide to benefit from a free and direct access to the scientific publications. The green road offers an interesting alternative to the classic commercial model and ensures a perennial filing in an institutional repository or a thematic database. For the researchers, Open Access publishing ensures a better visibility through the search engines (for example Google Scholar) that can result in an increased citation rate. Moreover, agreements between authors and publishers aim to a better conservation of the author’s rights on his work.
More and more publishers are currently taking a turn toward this model. In February 2012, DOAJ (repository of the Open Access journals) listed more than 7000 Open Access journals, most of which offer as good quality as the paying journals with peer-reviewing. Flagship publishers like Elsevier allow the Open Access diffusion of some articles in the frame of paying journals, showing the evidence of the rise of this movement. However, this hybrid model implies a significant involvement in the publication expenses by the author or his institution.
In the scientific publication’s world, the impact factor remains the main quality indicator of a journal no matter if it is charged or not. Many Open Access journals are progressively gaining in quality and recognition. Journals like Optics express and Genome Biology can be named as examples with a ranking among the ten best journals of their category and an impact factor of respectively 3.6 and 7.9 (Source : JCR 2011).
Does the impact factor of a journal indicate a “good science”? This should be discussed. A recent study, Deep Impact : Unintended consequences of journal rank, tends to show that the impact factor is progressively losing credibility for two main reasons. On the one hand, the calculated IF would “be negotiated with the journals”. On the other hand, “the higher the IF of a journal, the higher the probability that the article is withdrawn or that the results turn out to be less reliable”. The IF usage as a statistical data has transformed the scientific practice, forced the authors and served the purpose of some editors. Would a switch-over to a more open system be a solution? This is in any case the solution suggested by this study. (source : M. ZITO, Les dégâts collatéraux du facteur d’impact, Le Monde, February 14, 2013. [Consulted on February 20, 2013]. This article may be consulted on: http://library.pressdisplay.com).
By signing the Berlin Declaration and promoting the Open Access publication via Infoscience, EPFL supports the free access to the scientific information for all. This commitment aims to encourage the development and democratization of the research and contributes to the standing of the institution.
The EPFL library
Learn more on Open Access at EPFL
Read the article to be released in Flash (February 20, 2013)
View the video on EPFLTV: « The Open Access at the EPFL ».
The EPFL Library: email@example.com or 021 693 21 56
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