November 04, 2019
Paywalls holding back Maori research
An open access advocacy group says a profit-focused approach to academic publishing means taxpayer-funded research that could improve the health and wellbeing of New Zealanders is locked behind paywalls.
Tohatoha NZ chief executive Mandy Henk says there is evidence the system creates specific harms for Māori scholars and scientists.
The non-profit group has launched a campaign for greater openness, sharing, and equity in the digital world, including open access and open reuse of government, scholarly, and scientific knowledge.
Ms Henk says New Zealand invests billions of dollars in health and other research in universities, Crown Research Institutes, and other publicly funded institutions, only for it to be locked up by publishers.
She says open access, open data, and open scholarship offer a better path to sharing and creating new knowledge with other researchers and with communities, while also strengthening New Zealand’s economy by providing access to R&D to the private sector.
The Crown also needs to fulfils its commitment as a Treaty partner by living up to the diversity and equity statements made by its universities.
The core positions of Tohatoha’s campaign are captured in the ‘Open Access Declaration’, which can be viewed here: https://www.tohatoha.org.nz/campaigns/open-access/
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