Open access repositories: an open access tool for wider access to knowledge
thesisposted on 2022-03-28, 02:52 authored by Nikolaos Koutras
The digital revolution has changed contemporary society in unprecedented ways. It has also dramatically changed how authors publish and disseminate their works. The original regulatory regime of copyright is proving to be inadequate to deal with the changed circumstances. This thesis examines how the emphasis of copyright regulation on encouraging creativity can be translated to the new scenario created by the technology-driven digital revolution.Historically, copyright is a mechanism for encouraging creativity and innovation while making published works available for users. With the rise of the digital revolution and the connected changes in publishing and disseminating published works, it has become easier to copy and replicate published works. In the process, the intellectual property rights of the authors and publishers can be easily infringed. Strengthening the original copyright model is not a viable option for various philosophical and pragmatic reasons. My central argument in this thesis is that the main benefit of the digital revolution is that it makes knowledge accessible in unprecedented ways. Therefore, it is necessary for us to create the conditions for the widest possible open access to knowledge on a global scale. However, in creating open access, the interests of all stakeholders-the authors, the publishers and the users-need to be balanced.This can be done through open access repositories (OARs) that are a well-known tool to provide access to information. Among other things, OARs can be regulated in a way that balances the interests of all stakeholders and makes open access a real possibility. Therefore, it is important to examine the goals that a regulatory regime for the OARs should pursue. An appropriate regulatory regime can encourage the commercial publishers to adopt open access policies in the true spirit of creating a global knowledge society.Therefore, in this thesis I establish that copyright and open access to knowledge are mutually compatible concepts. Further, open access to knowledge is essential to create a just society in global terms. Open access publishing is one appropriate means of doing that. However, such open access publishing needs to be regulated to balance interests of all three stakeholders in both international and national laws. Therefore, my argument is that OARs can provide a mechanism to balance the interests of all. While initially OARs were created by higher educational institutions, there are very compelling reasons for expecting the commercial publishers to adopt them -- abstract.