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open access week - interview witH anna dreber almenberg

As part of Open Access Week, the SSE Library interviews Professor Anna Dreber Almenberg (SSE).

SSE Professor Anna Dreber Almenberg

The SSE Library concludes its Faculty Interview Series for Open Access Week by interviewing Professor Anna Dreber Almenberg, Department of Economics, Stockholm School of Economics, about researchers perceptions and experiences of publishing OA.

To what extent do you publish yourself using OA? Why have you chosen to do so?

When I can publish OA, I will publish OA. I sometimes publish in journals that allow you to publish OA when you pay for it, and most of the time I do pay for it when it’s possible. Sometimes grants require it. Sometimes I more “accidentally” publish OA - once my paper has been accepted the publisher tells me that SSE has a deal with the publisher, so that the paper can become OA for no additional cost. And then, of course, what’s not to like, OA it is! OA is great, we want to disseminate research results and this is one way to do it. In some fields though OA is not as “important” as in other fields. When we already have a culture of sharing results and papers, through e.g. “working papers” in economics or pre-prints more generally, then these are typically available online for anyone. Then I don’t see the same need for paying for OA -  the paper is accessible anyway on the author’s webpage in a slightly different format.

When choosing a journal to publish in, do you also take the possibility to publish OA into account? Does APC:s affect your decision process and, if so, in what way?

Typically not, and that’s because of this working paper-tradition. I know that I can disseminate the results in a paper anyway, so I don’t need to have the paper OA when I publish in Economics. When I publish in general science or psychology journals etc, I have to consider it more since sometimes pre-prints are not allowed – though I am glad to see that pre-prints are on the rise in e.g. psychology. If I publish a paper in PNAS (The Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences U.S.A.), then we have an option to pay for OA, and I will do that.

How do you feel about publishing in pure OA-journals as opposed to hybrid journal?

I haven’t thought much about this to be honest, and again this is probably because of our working paper solution. These types of journals are, at present, not that comparable. There are very few OA-journals that are as influential as, say, Nature or Science, and I would prefer to publish in Nature or Science to any other journal. But also these journals are becoming increasingly pragmatic and more positively inclined towards OA.

What are your thoughts on Plan S and Bibsam’s recent transformative deals with a number of different publishers? How do you think this is going to affect your research, as well as research within your field?

I think Plan S is interesting, but it also has some problems. There are interesting ideas in it, but it is being pushed through too quickly. The consequences can be bad for young researchers who would no longer be allowed to publish in hybrid journals, but only in complete OA journals. As someone who is very much a proponent of Open Science, I think the publication question is less interesting than, say, whether we are transparent in research methods and analyses etc, and whether the material and data are open or not (if they are not confidential). I think that one of the explanations to the “replication crises” that we have witnessed during the last few years (see for example Open Science Collaboration 2015, Camerer et al. 2016, Camerer et al. 2018 on my publication list) is related to the lack of transparency. Having more Open Science, including pre-analysis plans for hypothesis tests if we want to talk about statistical significance, will lead to more reliable results and is super important for the progress of science.

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