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Sociological implications of scientific publishing: Open access, science, society, democracy and the digital divide

Author: Herb, Ulrich
Publisher: Saarländische Universitäts- und Landesbibliothek Zentrale Einrichtungen. Zentrale Verwaltung 2010
Edition/Format:   Downloadable article : English
Publication:Zentrale Einrichtungen. Zentrale Verwaltung
Database:WorldCat
Summary:
Claims for open access are mostly underpinned with 1. science—related arguments (open access accelerates scientific communication); 2. financial arguments (open access relieves the serials crisis); 3. social arguments (open access reduces the digital divide); 4. democracy—related arguments (open access facilitates participation); and, 5. socio—political arguments (open access levels disparities). Using sociological  Read more...
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Genre/Form: Article
Material Type: Internet resource
Document Type: Internet Resource, Article
All Authors / Contributors: Herb, Ulrich
OCLC Number: 697707150
Language Note: English
Notes: application/pdf

Abstract:

Claims for open access are mostly underpinned with 1. science—related arguments (open access accelerates scientific communication); 2. financial arguments (open access relieves the serials crisis); 3. social arguments (open access reduces the digital divide); 4. democracy—related arguments (open access facilitates participation); and, 5. socio—political arguments (open access levels disparities). Using sociological concepts and notions, this article focuses strongly on Pierre Bourdieu';s theory of (scientific) capital and its implications for the acceptance of open access, Michel Foucault';s discourse analysis and the implications of open access for the concept of the digital divide. Bourdieu';s theory of capital implies that the acceptance of open access depends on the logic of power and the accumulation of scientific capital. It does not depend on slogans derived from hagiographic self—perceptions of science (e.g., the acceleration of scientific communication) and scientists (e.g., their will to share their information freely). According to Bourdieu';s theory, it is crucial for open access (and associated concepts like alternative impact metrics) to understand how scientists perceive its potential influence on existing processes of capital accumulation and how open access will affect their demand for status. Foucault';s discourse analysis suggests that open access may intensify disparities, scientocentrism and ethnocentrism. Additionally, several concepts from the philosophy of sciences (Popper, Kuhn, Feyerabend) and their implicit connection to the concept of open access are described in this paper.

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