06 SES 06 JS, Challenges and Risks in Open Access, Open Educational Resources and Open Learning
Joint Paper Session NW 02, NW 06, NW 12, NW 30
Open Access (OA) has been particularly effectively introduced as a publication model within the field of science, technology and medicine (STM), where its benefits are widely recognised (cf. Suber 2012, pp. 29 ff.). By way of contrast, it seems that the humanities and social sciences tend to exhibit a greater degree of reticence. OA endeavours in this area are also a constant object of criticism. Within the field of vocational education and training (VET) research, the supposition is that scepticism and uncertainty are more prevalent because the status of knowledge regarding the topic of OA is lower. This particularly applies in respect of questions relating to quality standards, usual financing models and licensing. These assessments have their basis in the attitudes expressed and the controversial discussions that took place in the wake of a feasibility study conducted into the setting up of a repository at the Federal Institute for Vocational Education and Training, BIBB (“Repository at BIBB – clarification of possible options, particularly with regard to funding by the German Research Foundation”, Organisational Development Project 9.5.501). In order to further the establishment of the OA publication model in vocational education and training research, it is therefore important to investigate the conditions, which exert an influence on the acceptance, dissemination, and use of OA.
The BIBB research project “Open Access in vocational education and training research”, which launched in 2018 and is scheduled to run until 2020, is investigating the technical, structural, policy-related, normative and inherent academic research conditions that affect the acceptance, dissemination and use of OA from the perspective of authors involved in the field of vocational education and training research. The research project will focus on German-speaking countries. Because VET research represents an interlinking of various related academic disciplines rather than comprising a stand-alone discipline, the assumption is that the results of the project will be partially transferable to other fields within the social sciences and the humanities and will thus contribute towards findings regarding OA across the whole of the latter domain. The project will be supported by a project council and will be carried out by Mr. Rödel, Ms. Langenkamp, Ms. Taufenbach, Ms. Weiland and Ms. Getz in accordance with the principles of Open Science. All texts, methods, (raw) data, evaluations, questionnaires etc. will be published on a project homepage in line with the stipulations of the Data Protection Act. In order to permit networking to take place with members of the general public who are interested in the work, the project homepage will provide a facility for feedback.
The background to the research project is underpinned by the sociology of science and by media theory. These encompass knowledge of the academic research publication system and its various publication models. The research project takes its lead from previous investigations conducted in the humanities and social sciences by Ulrich Herb (2015) and Doris Bambey (2016) and from the “Study of Open Access Publishing” (SOAP). These are used in the research project alongside the sociology of science and media theory as a foundation to identify, describe and reflect upon developments in the field of Open Access. A further aim is to deploy the sociology of science as a vehicle for an understanding of the economic relevance of knowledge and of academic research and to present sequences of academic research communication and publication systems varying along disciplines. These form the context for the research issue centring on the conditions governing the acceptance, dissemination and use of Open Access and for the derivation of a possible feature space in accordance with technical, structural, policy-related, normative and inherent academic research conditions.
The background to the research project is underpinned by the sociology of science and by media theory. The empirical database to be used in the planned research project will be created via method triangulation, combining qualitative and quantitative research methods. For the purpose of qualitative exploration, structured group discussions (focus groups) will take place with academic researchers from the field of VET (cf. Krueger/Casey 2014), who will primarily be addressed in their capacity as authors. Account will be taken of the fact that these authors also act as users when they access OA publications. The objective of the group interviews is to identify the relevant technical, structural, policy-related, normative and inherent academic research conditions that govern the characteristics of acceptance, dissemination and use of Open Access in vocational education and training research. The project partners have used an examination of the theoretical context of the sociology of science to draw up their own matrix (RLTW Matrix), which outlines possible conditions. This feature space will be used to localise and weight the conditions derived from the group interviews. Weighting will be aligned both to frequency of mentions as well as to evaluation via the groups. The results will make it apparent which conditions are particularly relevant for the focus group. Following exploration, conditions will be operationalised and subjected to quantitative examination in the form of an online survey. Respondents will be academic researchers working in VET. Access to this group will take place via the BIBB network and via relevant professional societies, research associations and institutions. The expectation is that there will be a certain selectivity in choosing respondents, and this may lead to a bias in the results. The collection of further status information alongside the usual personally related data will provide a methodological means of rendering such a bias transparent. This will make it possible to obtain a useful description of respondents and potentially facilitate an evaluation of the representativity of results. This approach will also provide an opportunity to undertake a more precise delineation of vocational education and training researchers, a group which has thus far been the object of very little research. Consideration will be accorded to the BIBB data protection standards.
The Open Access model is not new and has already become firmly established in other academic research disciplines. In the Federal republic of Germany, it also receives support from initiatives at policy and academic research level. Mention should be made in this regard of examples such as the “Berlin Declaration on Open Access to Knowledge in the Sciences and Humanities” the OA Strategy “Open Access for Germany” developed by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research, the “OA 2020 – initiative for large-scale transition to open access” initiated by the Max Planck Digital Library and various Open Access strategies embarked upon by German universities. Nevertheless, this publication model has only become established in some areas of vocational education and training research. For this reason, the expectation is that the project will deliver confirmation or refutation of the conditions derived which relate to the acceptance, dissemination and use of Open Access. The supposition is that there will also be a differentiation and a variance in weighting within and below the level of the technical, structural, policy-related, normative and inherent academic research conditions. We expect that the evaluation and weighting of the individual conditions governing the personally related characteristics of the academic researchers will depend on aspects such as academic research status, age or publication activity.
BAMBEY, Doris: Fachliche Publikationskulturen und Open Access. Fächerübergreifende Entwicklungstendenzen und Spezifika der Erziehungswissenschaft und Bildungsforschung [Specialist publication cultures and Open Access. Cross-disciplinary tendencies and specific characteristics of the educational sciences and educational research]. Darmstadt 2016 Berlin Declaration on Open Access to Knowledge in the Sciences and Humanities. Berlin 2003 URL: https://openaccess.mpg.de/68053/Berliner_Erklaerung_dt_Version_07-2006.pdf (accessed: 19/01/2018) BUNDESMINISTERIUM FÜR BILDUNG UND FORSCHUNG [FEDERAL MINISTRY OF EDUCATION AND RESEARCH] Open Access für Deutschland [Open Access for Germany]. Berlin 2016 https://www.bmbf.de/pub/Open_Access_in_Deutschland.pdf (accessed: 19/01/2018) DALLMEIER-TIESSEN, Suenja et al.: Highlights from the SOAP project survey. What Scientists Think about Open Access Publishing. URL: https://arxiv.org/ftp/arxiv/papers/1101/1101.5260.pdf (accessed: 19/01/2018) DILTHEY, Wilhelm: Einleitung in die Geisteswissenschaft: Versuch einer Grundlegung für das Studium der Gesellschaft und ihrer Geschichte [Introduction to humanities – attempt to lay basic principles for the study of society and its history]. Berlin 2017 DOß, Brigitte; JANELLO, Christoph; THIESSEN, Peter: Open Access und Geisteswissenschaften. Widerspruch oder Zukunft? [Open Access and humanities. A contradiction or the future?] In: Bibliotheksforum Bayern (2014) Vol. 8, Issue 1, pp. 30–33. URL: https://www.bibliotheksforum-bayern.de/fileadmin/archiv/2014-1/PDF-Einzelbeitraege/BFB_0114_10_Janello_V03.pdf (accessed: 19/01/2018) HERB, Ulrich: Open Science in der Soziologie [Open Science in sociology]. Glückstadt 2015 KRUGER, Richard A.; CASEY, Mary Anne: Focus Groups. A Practical Guide for Applied Research. 5th edition New York et al. 2014 MAX PLANCK DIGITAL LIBRARY: Open Access 2020 - initiative for large-scale transition to open access https://oa2020.org/ (accessed: 19/01/2018) STUDY OF OPEN ACCESS PUBLISHING (SOAPs). 2011 http://project-soap.eu/ (accessed: 19/01/2018) SUBER, Peter: Open Access. London 2012 TAUBERT, Nils C.: Eine Frage der Fächerkultur? Akzeptanz, Rahmenbedingungen und Adaption von Open Access in den Disziplinen [A question of the specialist culture? Acceptance, general conditions and adaption of Open Access in the disciplines]. In: Forschung & Lehre 16 (2009) 9, pp. 564–566 TAUBERT, Niels C.; WEINGART, Peter: Wandel des wissenschaftlichen Publizierens – eine Heuristik zur Analyse rezenter Wandlungsprozesse [Shift in academic research publishing – a heuristic for the analysis of recent change processes]. In: WEINGART, Peter; TAUBERT, Niels (Eds.): Wissenschaftliches Publizieren [Academic research publishing]. Berlin 2016, pp. 3–38
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