Thursday, December 14, 2006

Linda Hutcheon: A democratized diffusion of knowledge

The University of Toronto's Linda Hutcheon is one of Canada's more modest leaders of the open access movement. Here are some of Linda's words of wisdom, from a SPARC Scholars Speak interview: "Open access removes barriers. I find this very politically attractive. The sharing of knowledge helps us get at economic inequities – experienced both by smaller academic institutions and, of course, by developing countries. Everybody wins. More access and resource sharing lead to a democratized diffusion of knowledge".

Linda also points out that the biggest barrier to change is simply time; people are just busy to learn and implement change. The good news here: in the medium to long term - this is no barrier at all.

Another topic Linda brings up that we don't hear about as often is the monographs crisis. As library budgets have been diverted from the purchase of monographs to meet the ever-increasing serials prices, fewere monographs have been purchased - and now, fewer are being published, even though this form remains critical in the humanities.

One of Linda's solutions: rethinking university presses, with more support from universities so that they do not need to compete with commercial companies, but rather focus on academic work.

Well said, Linda.

Thanks to Peter Suber on Open Access News.

This post is the third in the series Canadian Leadership in the Open Access Movement.

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