A central theme of this year’s Conference for Open Access Scholarly Publishers (COASP) was the idea that open access is fundamentally about promoting the public good. Diana Marshall, of BioMed Central, summarises this and other take-home messages from the conference, which was hosted by the Open Access Scholarly Publishers Association, on the BioMed Central blog.
Heather Joseph from SPARC – a global coalition that promotes open sharing of research output – launched proceedings with a talk on how open access publishing benefits society by fostering collaborations, increasing access to knowledge, and allowing the scrutiny of raw data. Other presentations looked to the future of open access publishing, and considered how new technologies will shape research articles, and how the open access funding model might evolve. Authorship credit was also a key theme, particularly how to ensure that authors receive appropriate credit for their contributions in large multidisciplinary studies. Publishers were encouraged to experiment with different ways of acknowledging author contributions, ideally in machine-readable formats.
Discussions highlighted how collaboration between publishers and open access advocates can be effective in promoting the dissemination of research, but also the need for a balance between open access as a social movement and the realities of commercial publishing. Recordings and slides from COASP 2016 are now available to view and download.