Is “closed-access” a new trend for conference proceedings?

Dear readers,

this is an opinion piece and I welcome comments and different viewpoints. CEUR-WS was founded in 1995 to help computer-science workshop organizers to publish their proceedings as open-access at zero cost. Over time, CEUR-WS became increasingly popular and a number of conference organizers implicitly adopted CEUR-WS as the default publisher for proceedings of their satellite events (workshops, doctoral symposia, demonstration tracks, and the like).

Since about two years, I observe that the publisher of the main proceedings also becomes the publisher of the satellite event proceedings. This would be just fine, if it would allow the satellite organizers to continue publishing their proceedings as open-access and at a very low cost tag. That is however not the case: the proceedings become typically closed-access. While universities in rich countries can afford the subscription, this is not true for most universities in developing countries. Further, interested citizens are increasingly blocked from accessing such papers.

What I regret is that the new trend is a step backwards. There are workshop series that were open-access for many years and are now dragged back into closed access via umbrella agreements between the (commercial or semi-commercial) publisher and the conference series steering committees.

If you share my concerns then let the conference and workshop organizers hear your voice!

 

Kind greetings, Manfred

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