My short guest editorial on ‘Open access and academic publishing: some lessons from music culture’ has now been published in Political Geography. I’ve posted about this before with a link to an open access early version of the article. There is no abstract for the piece, but here are the opening few lines:
The recent debate on the merits of the open access agenda in the pages of Political Geography intimates towards a set of power- ful underlying problems within academic publishing. Let me start by saying that I’m afraid that the bad news is twofold. First, these problems are unlikely to go away any time soon. And, second, I have not seen a solution that is going to appease very many of our colleagues. In fact, as the debates continue to thicken so too the possibilities seem to become increasingly cloudy and unattractive. In the UK we have become distracted with talk of ‘green’ or ‘gold’ forms of academic publishing that implicitly suggest, when it comes to the apparent inevitability of open access, that we only have two options available to us – the repos- itory or the pay to publish model. The talk associated with open access usually focuses upon forging a model that might enable the academic publishing industry to continue to thrive. The problem is that in many ways we are treating academic publishing as being somehow outside of some broader currents of cultural and social change. These changes relate to an altering mediascape in which the nature of production and dissemination has become, for want of a better expression, decentralised. The challenges created by a changing socio-technological context, furnished by some altering cultural values, are pulling academia into a situation that is already playing out across a range of other cultural sectors.