OA Meetings in Norway

The Open Access community of Norway has met up at two different meetings in recent weeks.

The Norwegian Association of Higher Education Institutions hosted an Oslo meeting on October 31 where developments in repository activities were discussed. Here connections were also made to international developments, with participation by David Prosser, SPARC Europe, and Peter Milington from Sherpa. Most sessions were held in Norwegian, with a few exceptions. The program and access to presentations can be found here .

It was clear from the presentations and discussions during the meeting that libraries continue to find it difficult to fulfill their mission to populate the repositories they are establishing. Some presenters went as far as to demand that an official deposition policy be adopted.

The Norwegian Association of Higher Education Institutions has stated that its goal for the coming period is to “stimulate increased use of open institutional archives for scientific publication” and to ”work to increase use of open scientific journals (open access)”.

On November 14, Munin – the university archive at Tromsø University- drew a crowd of nearly 100 librarians, publishers, researchers, and others above the Arctic Circle in November to discuss Open Access.

The Norwegian Research Council has yet to adopt an official OA policy. Arvid Hallén, from the Research Council was, however, on-hand to discuss possible future directions on Open Access. A work group has been established at the highest levels within the Council to monitor and evaluate Nordic and international developments on Open Access. In Hallén’s opinion, the council should sign the Berlin Declaration, and the council can and should encourage depositions in open archives. Hallén further explained that it is unlikely that the council will include an open publication contingency in its funding contracts within the near future. However, he would like to see the Council provide funding to cover publication fees for those publishing in Open Access journals.

A novel approach to Open Access was presented by LingBuzz, an ”article archive and community space for generative linguistics”. The developers at LingBuzz do not want to shout too loudly about their ambitions or plans just yet, but regard their project as something ”beyond Open Access”. Visit LingBuzz here.

As in many discussions at OA meetings, publishers were lumped together as a homogeneous group. Svein Skarheim, Managing Director of the Universitetsforlaget, presented a more nuanced view of the reality of Norwegian journals and publishers. Most editors of journals in the Social Sciences and Humanities, published in Norwegian, prefer print editions and as yet have not looked to Open Access. The small publishing houses are not necessarily against Open Access, but they make only small profits and must carefully weigh any changes they make to their portfolios.

Jens Vigens, Scientific Information Officer at CERN, presented the SCOAP3 initiative and encouraged other fields to think about a similar economic model and solution for Open Access. Vigens is a frequent speaker at OA conferences and it was nice to see him back home in Norway, speaking Norwegian! SCOAP3 was new for most participants.