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Title: Through struggle and indifference : the UK academy's engagement with the open intellectual commons
Author: Johnson, Gareth J.
ISNI:       0000 0004 6424 3888
Awarding Body: Nottingham Trent University
Current Institution: Nottingham Trent University
Date of Award: 2017
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The academy has long relied on publisher-facilitated research dissemination; yet digital dissemination has dramatically transformed the scholarly publishing field. Particularly, open access (OA) has disrupted an increasingly commodified and fetishised publishing praxis, creating an open intellectual commons. However, despite OA's public good, academics remain indifferent to its praxis. The UK academy's policy environment and cultural practices, represent a unique arena to consider these issues within. Limited research concerning the UK academy's rationales for OA engagement exists, particularly qualitative work critically evaluating influences and barriers to achieving cultural change. From a novel ethnographically-framed sociological perspective, combined with empirical investigations, this research addresses this gap in knowledge through comprehending academics' OA responses, publishing influences, actor power-relationships and related HE policy environments. A novel theoretical framework employing Marx, Foucault, Gramsci and the Italian Autonomous-Marxists' conceptualisations of power-relations, struggle and resistance, empower an ideological critique analysis. An examination of how increasingly marketised universities have embraced cognitive capitalism and academic alienation, contrasts with the tensions, events and concepts underlying UK OA's development. Extensive semi-structured interviews with different publishing actors provide cultural-native insights. OA practitioners expose the publication field's configuration, academics and other publishing actors' discourse develop further insights, while academic activists reveal how differing approaches affect dissemination praxis. Analysis indicates actors, including governmental bodies, commercial publishers and funders, dominate a hegemonic ruling-bloc, through controlling economic and symbolic esteem capital. An academy is revealed shifting from idealised OA, towards pragmatic compliance with a normative gold-OA form, although concerns about perceived cost barriers and diminished prestige capital remain. Despite ruling-bloc efforts to address the conjunctural crisis OA represents, a disaggregated counter-hegemonic resistance exists: providing platforms, sustainable publishing, and exposing inequities. While gold-OA praxis proliferates, a struggle for agency within scholarly publishing praxis continues. Hence, ostensibly future dissemination will contain OA elements, but its conformation remains uncertain.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available