Report on the ECIR 2021 Discussion Panel on Open Access

On 31 March 2021, the Wednesday morning of ECIR 2021, the conference participants joined with seven panellists in a discussion on Open Access and Information Retrieval (IR), or more accurately, on the lack of open access publishing in IR. Discussion topics included the experience of researchers with open access in Africa; business models for open access, in particular how to run a sustainable open access conference like ECIR; open access plans at Springer, the BCS and the ACM; and finally, experience with open access publishing in related fields, notably in Computational Linguistics.

Appeared in BCS-IRSG Informer Spring 2021.

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Open Access and Information Retrieval

Discussion Panel at ECIR 2021

Most publications in Information Retrieval are available via subscriptions. These include the ECIR proceedings published by Springer on behalf of the BCS, and the SIGIR proceedings published by the ACM. There is a trend to gradually change this situation to open access publishing. At Springer this is done by giving authors the choice to pay for open access, and by international agreements like Springer’s Compact. At ACM, this is also done by giving authors the choice to pay, and by agreements between ACM and individual institutions.

The panel discusses the effects of this situation on inclusiveness of the field, in particular on how we can support researchers from low income countries. We discuss the experience of researchers with open access in Africa; We discuss business models for open access, in particular how to run a sustainable open access conference like ECIR; We discuss open access plans at Springer, the BCS and the ACM; Finally, we discuss experience with open access publishing in related fields, in particular in Computational Linguistics. The discussion panel consists of:

  • Hassina Aliane | CERIST, Algeria
  • Ralf Gerstner | Springer Heidelberg, Germany
  • Min-Yen Kan | National University of Singapore
  • Haiming Liu | University of Bedfordshire, United Kingdom
  • Joao Magalhaes | Universidade Nova de Lisboa, Portugal
  • Hussein Suleman | University of Cape Town, South Africa
  • Min Zhang | Tsinghua University, China

The panel takes place online on Wednesday 31 March at 9:00 UTC+2. More information at: https://www.ecir2021.eu/open-access-and-ir-panel/

An Open Access Strategy for iCIS

The Dutch government has set the target that by 2020, 100% of scientific publications financed with public money must be open access. As iCIS, we are not even half way. In the Radboud Repository less than 50% of the publications by Data Science, Software Science, and Digital Security are listed as open access. The slides below make a case for a new Open Access Strategy at iCIS that involves:

  1. Putting all iCIS publications on-line after a reasonable time (as permitted by Dutch copyright law), preferably in the Radboud Repository;
  2. Encouraging so-called diamond open access publishing (where open access publications are paid by donations and volunteer work from authors, editors, peer reviewers, and web masters);
  3. Discouraging closed access as well as so-called gold open access publishing (where authors pay expensive article processing charges);
  4. Complementing the iCIS Research Data Management policy and protocol.

Presented at the iCIS strategy day on 20 October 2020.

[download slides]

Update: iCIS may participate in the You Share, We Care project.

Transitioning the Information Retrieval Literature to a Fully Open Access Model

by Djoerd Hiemstra, Marie-Francine Moens, Raffaele Perego, and Fabrizio Sebastiani

Almost all of the important literature on Information Retrieval (IR) is published in subscription-based journals and digital libraries. We argue that the lack of open access publishing in IR is seriously hampering progress and inclusiveness of the field. We propose that the IR community starts working on a road map for transitioning the IR literature to a fully, “diamond”, open access model.

Published in SIGIR Forum 54(1).

[download preprint]