Institute for Social Ecology Vienna, Alpen Adria University Klagenfurt
Intellectual property is hard to keep in the age of Internet - this I appreciate. To render one's own publications freely accessible is a matter of successful self-marketing, and maybe saves on paper. Systematic open access policies have a more fundamental impact. My scientific field for example, Social Ecology, deals with the framework conditions of a tenable future between man and nature. As climate research illustrates, scientists are often the most important societal force to articulate a need for boundaries to making use of nature, something many people do not want to hear. Those interested must have an opportunity to form their opinion - and open access to scientific arguments and proofs does greatly facilitate citizen science efforts. The cost of publishing, though, is thus shifted from the readers to the writers. Additional measures are required so as not to build economic barriers for young and independent researchers in their access to scientific publishing.