Sally Wyatt: Open access: open for whom, access to what?

‘Open access’ has become seen as the solution to a number of different problems – allowing researchers to share data and results freely and easily, enabling funding agencies to save money, and giving the public the opportunity to know more about what their taxes support. At first glance, it seems like something which all engaged with scientific research should support. But are we sure we all mean the same thing when we talk about open access? Do these differences in understanding reflect deeper differences in the interests different social actors have? Do the differences make it potentially difficult to share data and results across disciplinary, institutional and national borders? In this presentation, I will explore what is at stake with different notions of open access for the myriad of actors involved.

This presentation draws upon work that I am doing as part of the EU-funded RECODE project, about Policy Recommendations for Open Access to Research Data in Europe (

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