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I have several principles of my personal approaches on open access.

The diversity is the one. Diverse views, approaches, solutions and so many different reasons against some strategies by others. Publishing new gold OA journals is one but this strategy produced too much and widespread increase of scholarly articles which is major adverse effect of OA. German and Dutch approaches are what I love. Transforming current best journals to OA is difficult but we should do it. Repositories are also important and that is what libraries can contribute. OA strategy of funding agencies is important but many of them are ignorant on the real OA. Libraries are sometimes obstacles rather than supporters because they worries about cutting library budget. Diverse views have to be respected and are subject to be negotiated rather than rejected.

Researcher oriented approach is the second. Researchers are producers and readers of scholarly articles. The main target of the current OA is on scholarly journals and scholarly researchers are main customers of these journals. Although OA work is to help researchers, main problems are again researchers. Researchers are not very interested and sometimes ignorant on open access. They are very much selected people with narrow vision and they are not interested in any issues other than their specialty area. So it is hard to have researchers participate our open access initiatives. So alternative is to have general public to participate. It is true that general public is now becoming customers of scholarly articles like papers written by Obama the president. We should open this OA issue to become an issue of all people not limited to scholars. But our basic stance is from the researchers’ view.

The third is the data driven action. We should produce more data. The value, the usage, the current status, the effect and future. My current study is to produce data on how many journals are really used by researchers in my university based on citation analysis. This study deals with any articles with different document types not limited to articles from OA journals. My university subscribe more than 35,000 journals but my study shows that the number of journals used in their research papers as articles in their references is 12,000-16,000. So more than 20,000 journals are subscribed but never used in our paper. Downloads and accesses are data produced by publishers but citation data is really important. Nobody denies the more the better is resources are enough but the cost for the current subscription by our library is too high. Data on the finance of the library is also important but they are seldom released by librarians. We use 9 million U$ per year for subscription and additional 2 million U$ for APC in 2015. This figure is more than 10 fold increase compared to 1995.

The fourth is collaboration. Any parties are not strong enough to act for OA. Researchers are strong and important but there are only a few among researchers who have that passion and understanding on OA. Librarians are supportive on some selective aspects of OA. Government and fund raising organs do not understand the complexity of issues. Publishers are Janus. But we should cooperate and negotiate with any parties involved rather than excluding any from the activities. One last but probably the most important parties are internet portal and media. Access to open access articles should be improved through internet portals like Google Scholar, Microsoft Academic and Naver Academic. For most internet portals scholarly information is a small piece among many different coverage but the value is enormous. The bright prospect of Korean open access is Naver Academic which will value up the global open access in the near future.


서울대학교 의과대학 병리학교실 교수

우촌심뇌혈관연구재단 이사장

대한심장학회 심장병리연구회 회장

아시아태평양의학학술지편집인협의회 부회장


Jeong-Wook SEO, MD
Professor, Department of Pathology 

Seoul National University College of Medicine

Chairman, Woochon Cardio-Neuro-Vascular Research Foundation

Executive Vice-president, Asia Pacific Association of Medical Journal Editors (APAME)

Tel: +82-2-740-8268+82-2-740-8268
Fax: +82-2-743-5530
Mobile: +82-10-2666-8268+82-10-2666-8268
E-mail: jwseo@snu.ac.kr


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