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Reassembling scholarly publishing: open access, institutional repositories and the process of change

Kennan, Mary Anne, Information Systems, Technology & Management, Australian School of Business, UNSW

2008

  • Title:
    Reassembling scholarly publishing: open access, institutional repositories and the process of change
  • Author/Creator: Kennan, Mary Anne, Information Systems, Technology & Management, Australian School of Business, UNSW
  • Subjects: Institutional repositories.; Scholarly publishing.; Open access.; Actor network theory.
  • Resource type: Thesis
  • Type of thesis: Ph.D.
  • Date: 2008
  • Awarding institution: University of New South Wales. Information Systems, Technology & Management
  • Description: Open access (OA) to scholarly publishing is encouraged and enabled by new technologies such as the Internet, the World Wide Web, their standards and protocols, and search engines. Institutional repositories (IR) as the most recent technological incarnations of OA enable researchers and their institutions to make accessible the outputs of research. While many OA repositories are being implemented, researchers are surprisingly slow in adopting them. While activists promote OA as emanating from the ideals of scholarship, others revile OA as undermining of scholarly publishing's economic base and therefore undermining quality control and peer review. Change is occurring but there are contested views and actions. This research seeks to increase understanding of the issues by addressing the research questions: "How and why is open access reassembling scholarly publishing?" and "What role does introducing an open access institutional repository to researchers play in this reassembly?" This thesis contributes to answering these questions by investigating two IR implementations and the research communities they serve. The research was conducted as an Actor-Network Theory (ANT) field study, where the actors were followed and their relations and controversies explored in action as their landscape was being contested. The research found that central to our understanding of the reassembling of scholarly publishing is the agency emerging from the sociomaterial relations of the OA vision, IR technology and researchers. Being congruent with the aims of scholarship, and also being flexible and mutable, the OA vision enrols researchers to enact it through OA IR, thus transforming scholarly communications. This is counteracted by publishers aligned with the academic reward network within traditional publishing networks. In this delicate choreography the OA IR, its developers, researchers, university administrators and policy makers are merging as critical actors with their more or less congruent vision of OA enacted in their network. The comparative ANT account of the two IR life stories shows how such enactment depends on the degree to which different OA visions could converge, enrol and mobilise other actors, in particular institutional actors, such as a mandate, in transforming researchers' publishing behaviour. This thesis contributes to a novel and in-depth understanding of OA and IR and their roles in reassembling scholarly publishing. It also contributes to the use of ANT in information systems research by advancing a sociomaterial ontology which recognises the intertwining of human and material agency.
  • Supervisor: Cecez-Kecmanovic, Dubravka, Information Systems, Technology & Management, Australian School of Business, UNSW,Cole, Fletcher T.H. , Information Systems, Technology & Management, Australian School of Business, UNSW
  • Language: English
  • Rights: http://unsworks.unsw.edu.au/copyright; http://unsworks.unsw.edu.au/copyright
  • Print Availability: T/2008/190 (Ask at Level 2 Help Zone, UNSW Library)

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