I care a lot about academic research papers being publicly available for free on the Internet, aka open access. In addition to describing this in my list of problems with academia, I recently wrote two things about open access:
- A personal open access policy clarifying why I believe in open access, and which steps I am taking to promote it, in particular by refusing to review for closed-access conferences and journals. I have started to follow this policy since I was recruited as a tenured academic in August 2016, after having put up with the broken academic publishing system for several years during my PhD. Yet, it took me three and a half years of hesitation and discussion with my colleagues before I was comfortable enough to take a public stand on this. I hope posting this policy online will help colleagues understand my stance (in particular understand why I won't help them with reviewing for closed-access conferences), and that it will inspire other acts of disobedience against the statu quo.
- A blogpost on the Database Theory Blog, co-written with Pierre Senellart. This is open access advocacy of a different kind, where we explain what would be possible in the saner world where the corpus of scientific papers were downloadable just like the Wikimedia datasets, or this impromptu mirror of LIPIcs papers that we prepared just because we could. Sadly, as we explain, this valuable resource cannot exist yet because it is currently hidden behind paywalls for historical reasons. It is our responsibility as researchers to move away from this model to unlock everything that should be possible with our research.