Bernd Fritzsch, professor and chairman of the UI Department of Biology, said he’s a big supporter of open access publishing and has been pushing it since before it gained momentum – for about 13 years.
“I am typically looking quite carefully at a different path of science,” Fritzsch said. “I want it to go in the new direction.”
He said open access will drive innovation and creation worldwide. He recently was contacted by a company in Germany trying to use research he published years ago.
“They couldn’t get access to it, and they asked for a reprint so they could look into it in detail,” he said. “So you basically have to come back to the author and ask that author for a copy, which is delaying your idea flow.”
Criticism about open access peer review doesn’t concern Fritzsch, he said, because the traditional peer review system is overburdened as more scholars are running short on time to participate.
“Something has to change,” he said.
More research will be published via open access without peer review, according to Fritzsch, and readers will write comments that will be published in conjunction with the research. The entire process will be made public in an open discussion forum, he said.
“It would be uniform, and it would make more sense,” Fritzsch said.
UI librarian Diaz said concerns about the role of libraries in a world of open access publishing aren’t necessary. Research libraries, such as the one at Iowa, are spending more money on journals today than budgets allow, he said.
Open access will allow libraries to curate free research and be more prudent in the journals they buy.
“I think the future will be a hybrid,” he said.