As a person involved in both artistic and scientific activity, I don’t sense a pressure to publish my writings to such an extent as somebody working in the humanities or the natural sciences. Yet I do feel the need to regularly contribute to the output of my academic environment by writing for journals, conference proceedings, and edited volumes in my fields of interest, and thus enhance my ›emerging scholar portfolio‹. In doing so, it appears to me that the best way to go public is full open access under a Creative Commons license, without any fees or restrictions posed to potential readers—and the more so since my occupation is a rather marginal discipline, measured by its overall relevance in society. Accessibility means a lot more to me than monetisation. In other words: I don’t see any point in commercial publishing in the current state of academic life.
Obviously, some partners in publishing do not share this view. While there are many convincing examples for gold and green open-access strategies throughout European and North-American academia, I have recently faced problems when I tried to self-archive or reuse my work after a period of closed access or conventional printed publication. For instance, some journals would not permit green open access of articles after an embargo period, or even charge the author for publishing in repositories other than his or her personal website. Despite platforms such as Academia.edu or ResearchGate enable researchers to share their work on a non-commercial basis, they are played off and dismissed for their alleged profit-oriented approach by some publishers who do not seem to have developed sustainable open-access policies themselves. At any rate, a topical handling of copyright issues and rights of use would demand for an attitude more sensitive towards authors’ interests. To cut a long story short: I believe that, if I am neither required to pay for publication nor do I get paid for it, my articles should be accessible to anybody free of charges. I will aim to live up to this principle from now on.