University of Graz, Austria
Professor of Systematic Musicology
Important Grants and Merits
Director of the Centre for Systematic Musicology at the University of Graz. I am or have been on the editorial boards of all leading journals in music psychology, see www.uni-graz.at/ ~parncutt/researchprofile.html#11
The human race is facing existential problems in many areas: poverty, war, resources, pollution, biodiversity and climate. Research will play a key role in solving them - the more so if it is freely available. From a general legal or moral viewpoint, a piece of writing can be owned by its original author/s, but it is problematic to buy or sell it, or to profit from restricting access to it. More generally: to plausibly maintain democracy, we must avoid extreme concentrations of capital by private companies and individuals. Free enterprise is fine and good provided human rights and basic needs are respected. Human rights include freedom from poverty, hunger, and curable disease. Basic needs include clear air, water, food, health, sanitation, mobility and education. Basic needs can only be owned if ownership is public and subject to democratic control. If publicly relevant information is a basic need, free access is a human right.
My research articles and presentations mostly have little political or moral relevance, and my original motivation for making them openly available was more mundane. Several years ago, I was applying internationally for academic positions. I wanted my research to be as visible as possible, to be better known and more frequently cited. I wrote to my main publishers for permission but in most cases there was no reply. I then put individual articles and chapters (but never whole books or journal issues) into the internet on the assumption that publishers would benefit from the publicity.