Wanting to be open does not mean we want to be open about everything

In planning interviews with editors of small scholar-led journals that either are, or would like to be, open access journals, I started off with the assumption that interviewees might want their interviews to be open, too, either as audio online or as transcripts. This would have been a deviation from the custom of confidential or anonymous interviews. Therefore, my approach was to offer the customary confidentiality / anonymity with the invitation to share the interview openly if desired by participants. None of the 8 interviewees to date has taken me up on the offer to make their interviews open. This makes sense. A journal might want to be open access, but some of the behind-the-scenes discussions around this decision might need to be kept private. There may be justifiable concerns about a revenue stream or supporting resource for the journal in the context of universities in tight financial situations looking for areas to cut. I’ll keep the invitation open, but for now will consider this a learning experience. In retrospect, this just makes sense. We can be advocates for both strong open access and strong privacy rights at the same time (I am very much for both); consider the intertwining of freedom of information and privacy.

This post is part of the Resource Requirements for Small Scholar-Led Open Access Publishing project.

If you are doing or thinking about doing research in this area, please let us know in the comments section.

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