Labor Market Economics
Johannes Kepler University Linz
Professor for Labor Economics
Important Grants and Merits Coordinator of the National Research Center "The Austrian Center for Labor Economics and the Analysis of the Welfare State"
Open Access for scientific articles as well as for pre-prints (see e.g. www.ssrn.com) is an important issue for institutions short of money who need to be up-to-date.
For research in social and economic sciences Open Access to data is an absolutely crucial issue in order to survive the increasing competition in publications as well as for economic policy-making. A good example is the „Survey on Health, Aging, and Retirement in Europe (SHARE), which is an interdisciplinary survey, monitoring individual aging aspects in the form of a panel. (www.share-austria.at ). Since ten years, these data have been collected and prepared with a considerable financial effort from the EU and 18 national states. Open Access so far allowed more than 2000 scientists to participate for free in this enormous effort.
Data collection is a prime example for a public good in the form of infrastructure: very expensive in the making, but the individual use of the data is almost costless: therefore, as many researchers as possible should use it.