First Osiris PhD thesis accepted for public defense

Lars Wenaas is the first Osiris PhD candidate to submit his doctoral thesis. The thesis looks at the effects of open access. The public defense will take place at the University of Oslo on 11 November 2022.

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Lars Wenaas

About the project

A large proportion of the academic literature sits behind a paywall, which is an obstacle for researchers in their pursuit of new knowledge, particularly at lesser funded institutions. The blame is often put on large commercial publishing houses focused on revenue and a scholarly communication system based on subscription-based journals. The proposed solution to this challenge is open access, which can be accommodated either by publishing articles in dedicated gold open access journals that are based on a different business model than subscription, or by depositing a research article in a repository for later dissemination after a publisher-imposed embargo.

Open access has become a hot political topic and adopted in science policy worldwide, especially in Europe. Particularly ‘Plan S’, a policy issued by an international coalition of funders has stirred debate by mandating immediate open access (as opposed to embargoed open access), often perceived as limiting the researcher’s choice of journals and thus inflicting with academic freedom. Science policy has also introduced a commercial logic to open access and the potential for economic returns that lies in the academic literature and argues that the literature is an important source of knowledge, not only for researchers, but also for both the private and public sector.

With the international policy-push for open access as a backdrop, the thesis aims to answer how open access affects the wider research system and what the obstacles are to its introduction. Does open access deliver the benefits for external users as argued for in policies? How does open access affect the science system and research performing institutions? A central concept in the project is the reward system of science and the incentives that follows academic journals. High-impact subscription-based legacy journals are perceived as more prestigious than more recently established gold open access journals. A transition to open access as science policy prescribes must therefore take the researchers priorities into account. 

Congratulations, Lars!


By Ingrid Helene Johnsen, Lars Wenaas
Published Sep. 28, 2022 1:38 PM - Last modified Nov. 9, 2022 12:06 PM