I don’t know a lot about the ins and outs of academic publishing, so let’s start by making that clear. More often than not, I’m likely to trip over government or thinktank reports than scholarly articles. I don’t have a home account for EBSCO access, or a university library account to access their scholarly journals that way, so in the absence of that type of access, I love the idea of Open Access. And when the University College of London announces they’ve hit their 1M download mark of e-texts through Open Access, that sounds outright awesome. The true power of the original university net, sharing and collaborating without restricted rights for the information. Releasing their findings into the wild.
But I do know that the world is not that clean. Academics compete for prestige journals, publishers hoard space and leverage control and $$ through access to those same journals, and while open access threatens to “disrupt” that industry, it is mostly a drop in the bucket. Publishers don’t relinquish control quite that easily. Hence you end up with people having to curate various online journals to separate the wheat from the chaff, set up lists of predatory journals to help identify “real” journals from “vanity” journals that will publish anything if the fee is paid, all with a veneer of review.
After reading the article about UCL’s milestone, I started clicking on other open access links. I started with the UCL Press site itself, quickly jumped to the Open Access Scholarly Publishers Association, Directory of Open Access Journals (DOAJ), a bunch of others competing to be the internet ring of editors that rules them all, i.e. finding them, bringing them all together, and in the darkness e-binding them. Very precious, indeed. I wanted to test the DOAJ, so I searched for scholarly journals (not just single articles) about “public administration” to see what they would find.
One of the first that popped up in the search that looked promising was the School of Public Policy publications by the University of Calgary. I went back two years and looked at 2016, 2017 and 2018 for Research Papers, Briefing Papers, Technical Papers, and Communiques. Some of it looks REALLY interesting and I will likely download a bunch of it for lunchtime reading at work. I know, I’m an admin geek. Here are some highlights of interest to me:
- Research Papers
- The Theory and Evidence Concerning Public-Private Partnerships in Canada and Elsewhere (Anthony Boardman, Matti Siemiatycki, Aidan R. Vining)
- A Major Setback for Retirement Savings: Changing how Financial Advisers are Compensated could Hurt Less-than-Wealthy Investors Most (Pierre Lortie)
- Tax-Assisted Approaches for Helping Canadians Meet Out-of-Pocket Health-Care Costs (J.C. Herbert Emery)
- The Disability Tax Credit: Why it Fails and How to Fix It (Wayne Simpson, Harvey Stevens)
- Public-Interest Benefit Evaluation of Partial- Upgrading Technology (G. Kent Fellows, Robert L. Mansell, Ronald Schlenker, Jennifer Winter)
- Discerning ‘Functional and Absolute Zero’: Defining and Measuring an End to Homelessness in Canada (Alina Turner, Tom Albanese, Kyle Pakeman)
- Business Subsidies in Canada Comprehensive Estimates for the Government of Canada and the Four Largest Provinces (John Lester)
- Briefing Papers, Technical Papers and Communiques
- On the Role & Future of Calgary’s Community Associations (Brian W. Conger, Pernille Goodbrand, Jyoti Gondek)
- Why Banning Embedded Sales Commissions Is a Public Policy Issue (Henri-Paul Rousseau)
- Social Policy Trends- Labour Force Participation Rate of Women with Young Children (Margarita (Gres) Wilkins, Ronald D. Kneebone)
- Surviving and Thriving in the Digital Economy (Goran Samuel Pesic)